Author Topic: Twelve Colonies Update Thread  (Read 7830 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« on: February 01, 2022, 08:48:53 AM »
On April 4th 2025 the Earth was struck by the remnants of an ancient comet. Seventeen major fragments and hundreds of smaller splinters smashed into the Earth, killing over ninety-five percent of the population. The vast majority of the scattered survivors were reduced to a medieval existence, fighting for resources as temperatures plunged. Only in a few military bases, primarily in Russia and the NATO countries, and located deep underground to ride out a nuclear attack, did anything of the old civilization survive. These remnants managed to establish communication and formed a loose alliance with the objective of saving the human race.

Aware that, even with survival at stake, some of the old rivalries remained, the senior Russian officer, Marshal Vladimir Lebedev, made a proposal to his NATO counterparts. A new global military organization should be formed, comprised of all remaining military personnel from the twelve surviving bases. Only when everyone became part of the same chain of command would true cooperation began. There was general acceptance of the principle, but no agreement on what national military would form the template for the new organization. After weeks of debate, a chance conversation between Marshal Lebedev and the senior surviving US officer, General Alexander Taylor, revealed a shared fascination with science fiction. That discussion led to the concept of basing the new global military on a fictional organization. Neither was interested in forming the Galactic Empire (not the right message) or the United Federation of Planets (too many aliens). Instead, what was needed was a focus on a human organization dedicated to survival. On that basis, the twelve bases became the twelve colonies and every surviving military officer on Earth became a member of the newly-founded Colonial Fleet. A long-term goal was set to rebuild the Earth and establish off-world colonies that would ensure the survival of the species for all time.

Nearly three centuries later, the original twelve colonies had achieved mythical status. The old bases, preserved for posterity, were the foundation on which a new human civilization, known as the United Colonies of Earth or more commonly as the Twelve Colonies, had been built. The breakthrough into Trans-Newtonian technology in the mid 23rd century transformed industry and made the long-held dream of off-world colonies an achievable goal. It also led to a disturbing discovery. The first manned expedition to Mars found evidence of an alien presence in caverns along the Valles Marineris. While whatever civilization had been present was long-dead, it’s existence created a potential threat to Earth. If one alien race had visited the Sol system in the past, then another could arrive in the future. The Colonial Fleet began building large, hybrid carrier-warships, designated as Battlestars, to guard the home world and future colonies.

Scenario Setup
1 Player Race with two billion population
5 NPRs at 50-100 LY
All spoilers active except Rakhas.
Limited Research Administration

Colonial Fleet Review – January 2300 AD
The Galactica class Battlestar formed the core of the Colonial Fleet in 2300 AD and provided its primary combat power. Six were in service. The Galactica class was equipped with railguns and gauss cannons that provided a devastating close combat capability and a defence against potential missile attack. Even though the Colonial Fleet of this era did not use missiles, they still presented a theoretical threat from potential future adversaries once the Fleet left the Sol system. Long-range striking power was provided by sixty Viper MK I fighters, equipped with fast-firing twin cannon, organised into four combat squadrons. Four Raptor-S recon craft provided a jump-capable, long-range reconnaissance capability, plus sensor support for the fighter group. A pair of Raptor-M assault transports allowed the Battlestar to board and capture hostile ships.

Galactica class Battlestar      75,000 tons       1,465 Crew       9,093.3 BP       TCS 1,500    TH 4,800    EM 0
3200 km/s      Armour 8-158       Shields 0-0       HTK 372      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 53      PPV 149.28
Maint Life 2.04 Years     MSP 4,016    AFR 849%    IFR 11.8%    1YR 1,290    5YR 19,356    Max Repair 300.00 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 24,000 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 480    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-600 Gas Core Drive (8)    Power 4800.0    Fuel Use 32.66%    Signature 600.00    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 3,269,000 Litres    Range 24 billion km (86 days at full power)

Ares Kinetics AK-20 Railgun (12x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-3     RM 40,000 km    ROF 20       
Ares Kinetics G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turret (4x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Hyperion R256-S4 Beam Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Hyperion R64-S16 Beam Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-18 Gaseous Fission Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 36.5    Exp 5%

Artemis-70 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 12960     Range 70.8m km    Resolution 120
Artemis-5M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Themis EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
Themis TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

Strike Group
4x Raptor-S Scout   Speed: 3201 km/s    Size: 19.99
2x Raptor-M Assault Transport   Speed: 7003 km/s    Size: 19.99
60x Viper MK I Fighter   Speed: 8001 km/s    Size: 6

The smaller and slower Valkyrie class Battlestar, four of which were in service in January 2300, was intended for long-range exploration missions. The Valkyrie’s armour and firepower were approximately half that of the Galactica class, but its endurance was far greater, with a planned deployment of up to three years, compared to a single year for the Galactica. The strike group was focused on the exploration mission with three geological survey Raptors, three gravitational survey Raptors and two recon Raptors, all of which were jump-capable, plus a squadron of twelve Vipers for protection.

Valkyrie class Battlestar      37,500 tons       671 Crew       3,933.1 BP       TCS 750    TH 1,680    EM 0
2240 km/s      Armour 4-99       Shields 0-0       HTK 208      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 33      PPV 60.64
Maint Life 3.18 Years     MSP 2,168    AFR 341%    IFR 4.7%    1YR 323    5YR 4,851    Max Repair 147.0000 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 12,000 tons     
Colonel    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Flight Crew Berths 240    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-420E Gas Core Drive (4)    Power 1680.0    Fuel Use 13.39%    Signature 420.00    Exp 7%
Fuel Capacity 2,026,000 Litres    Range 72.6 billion km (375 days at full power)

Ares Kinetics AK-20 Railgun (4x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-3     RM 40,000 km    ROF 20       
Ares Kinetics G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turret (2x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Hyperion R256-S4 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Hyperion R64-S16 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-6 Gaseous Fission Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 12.5    Exp 5%

Artemis-60 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 10080     Range 62.5m km    Resolution 120
Artemis-5M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Themis EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
Themis TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

Strike Group
3x Raptor-G Geological Survey Craft   Speed: 2241 km/s    Size: 19.99
3x Raptor-R Geological Survey Craft   Speed: 2241 km/s    Size: 19.99
2x Raptor-S Scout   Speed: 3201 km/s    Size: 19.99
12x Viper MK I Fighter   Speed: 8001 km/s    Size: 6

The Viper MK I fulfilled the long-range strike role for the Colonial Fleet in 2300. Armed with an Ares Kinetics VC-2 Cannon, the Viper could engage hostile ships within its operational range of four hundred million kilometres or provide close-in defence of its parent Battlestar. Anti-missile capability was enhanced due to the combination of the Viper's speed and its Hyperion fire control system. The Viper had inherent sensor capability with a range of up to two million kilometres and sufficient maintenance capacity to repair up to four cannon failures.

Viper MK I class Fighter      300 tons       2 Crew       57.3 BP       TCS 6    TH 48    EM 0
8001 km/s      Armour 1-3       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 1.65
Maint Life 3.26 Years     MSP 35    AFR 60%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 5    5YR 75    Max Repair 24 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.9 days    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-48B Gas Core Drive (1)    Power 48    Fuel Use 923.76%    Signature 48    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 12,000 Litres    Range 0.78 billion km (27 hours at full power)

Ares Kinetics VC-2 Viper Cannon (1x2)    Range 40,000km     TS: 8,001 km/s     Power 1-1.5     ROF 5       
Hyperion HV-1 Viper Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 8,000 km/s
R-1B Gaseous Fission Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 1.5    Exp 10%
Artemis-2M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 3     Range 2.1m km    MCR 192.7k km    Resolution 1

The jump-capable Raptor-S was the eyes and ears of the Colonial Fleet during its initial period of exploration. With a capable sensor suite, a range of eighteen billion kilometres and an operational endurance of twelve months, the Raptor-S could detect and classify hostile forces long before they posed a threat to Earth or the Colonial Fleet. The Raptor-S could also accompany Viper squadrons on missions to provide local sensor support.

Raptor-S class Scout      1,000 tons       26 Crew       120 BP       TCS 20    TH 64    EM 0
3201 km/s    JR 1-50      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 9      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 3.41 Years     MSP 43    AFR 32%    IFR 0.4%    1YR 6    5YR 84    Max Repair 36.0 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Apollo-10 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 1000.0 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 1
Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-64 Gas Core Drive (1)    Power 64.0    Fuel Use 100.00%    Signature 64.00    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 100,000 Litres    Range 18 billion km (65 days at full power)

Artemis-2M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 3     Range 2.1m km    MCR 192.7k km    Resolution 1
Artemis-40 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 4320     Range 40.9m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The Raptor-G and Raptor-R models were conversions of the original Raptor-S model, replacing the sensor suite of the S model with geological and gravitational survey sensors respectively. The Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-64 Gas Core Drive of the Raptor-S was replaced with the ZDS-45E, which provided less power but was far more fuel efficient, giving the G and R models a range of almost forty-four billion kilometres. The Raptor-G is shown below.

Raptor-G class Geological Survey Craft      1,000 tons       24 Crew       155.7 BP       TCS 20    TH 45    EM 0
2241 km/s    JR 1-50      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 7      Sensors 0/0/0/1      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.75 Years     MSP 49    AFR 32%    IFR 0.4%    1YR 9    5YR 140    Max Repair 100 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 months    Morale Check Required   

Apollo-10 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 1000.0 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 1
Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-45E Gas Core Drive (1)    Power 44.8    Fuel Use 41.00%    Signature 44.80    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 100,000 Litres    Range 43.9 billion km (226 days at full power)

Artemis-2M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 3     Range 2.1m km    MCR 192.7k km    Resolution 1
Geological Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

The Raptor-M was an assault transport version of the ubiquitous Raptor hull. The ZDS-64 was replaced by the ZDS-140B Gas Core Drive, which massively reduced range in exchange for high speed, while the jump drive and passive sensors were removed to make room for a troop capacity of 500 tons, suitable for a boarding-capable Marine Raiding Force, comprising forty Colonial Marine Raiders and two officers.

Raptor-M class Assault Transport      1,000 tons       22 Crew       104.2 BP       TCS 20    TH 140    EM 0
7003 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 4      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 1.47 Years     MSP 100    AFR 200%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 52    5YR 775    Max Repair 70.00 MSP
Troop Capacity 500 tons     Boarding Capable   
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 1.5 days    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-140B Gas Core Drive (1)    Power 140.0    Fuel Use 541%    Signature 140.00    Exp 20%
Fuel Capacity 25,000 Litres    Range 0.83 billion km (33 hours at full power)
Artemis-10 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 288     Range 10.6m km    Resolution 120

The Loki class Support Vessel provided jump capability and replenishment for Valkyrie class Battlestars. Two are in service. They were deployed as necessary to support outward movement of the Valkyries.

Loki class Support Vessel      37,323 tons       535 Crew       2,934.4 BP       TCS 746    TH 1,680    EM 0
2250 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 1-99       Shields 0-0       HTK 126      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 5,049    Max Repair 2064.9 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 1,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 2   
Major    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Apollo-37 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 37500 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Commercial Gas-Core Drive (7)    Power 1680.0    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 5,000,000 Litres    Range 729.4 billion km (3752 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 50,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 100 hours

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The various commercial vessels that supported the Colonial Fleet in January 2300 are shown below.

Traveller class Freighter      52,742 tons       253 Crew       776.3 BP       TCS 1,055    TH 1,920    EM 0
1820 km/s      Armour 1-125       Shields 0-0       HTK 75      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 9    Max Repair 50 MSP
Cargo 25,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 4   
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Gas-Core Drive (8)    Power 1920.0    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 51.6 billion km (328 days at full power)

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Olympic class Colony Ship      53,921 tons       368 Crew       1,802.1 BP       TCS 1,078    TH 1,920    EM 0
1780 km/s      Armour 1-127       Shields 0-0       HTK 89      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 20    Max Repair 100 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 100,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 6   
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Gas-Core Drive (8)    Power 1920.0    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 50.5 billion km (328 days at full power)

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Poseidon class Troop Transport      52,848 tons       323 Crew       1,147.4 BP       TCS 1,057    TH 1,920    EM 0
1816 km/s      Armour 1-125       Shields 0-0       HTK 126      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 80 MSP
Troop Capacity 25,000 tons     Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 4   
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Gas-Core Drive (8)    Power 1920.0    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 51.5 billion km (328 days at full power)

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Tylium class Replenishment Ship      51,799 tons       296 Crew       1,051.8 BP       TCS 1,036    TH 1,920    EM 0
1853 km/s    JR 2-25(C)      Armour 1-123       Shields 0-0       HTK 120      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 10,012    Max Repair 114.0 MSP
Major    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Apollo-56 Commercial Jump Drive       Max Ship Size 56250 tons    Distance 25k km     Squadron Size 2
Commercial Gas-Core Drive (8)    Power 1920.0    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 10,000,000 Litres    Range 1,051.3 billion km (6566 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 50,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 200 hours

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Triton class Stabilisation Ship      85,666 tons       380 Crew       1,885.1 BP       TCS 1,713    TH 2,640    EM 0
1540 km/s      Armour 1-173       Shields 0-0       HTK 101      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 1000 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Jump Point Stabilisation: 180 days

Commercial Gas-Core Drive (11)    Power 2640.0    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 1,000,000 Litres    Range 63.5 billion km (477 days at full power)

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Atlas class Tug      94,756 tons       746 Crew       2,035.1 BP       TCS 1,895    TH 7,200    EM 0
3799 km/s      Armour 1-185       Shields 0-0       HTK 249      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 100 MSP
Tractor Beam     
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Gas-Core Drive (30)    Power 7200.0    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 2,000,000 Litres    Range 114.9 billion km (350 days at full power)

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Hermes class Jump Tender      67,056 tons       395 Crew       1,327 BP       TCS 1,341    TH 2,400    EM 0
1789 km/s    JR 2-25(C)      Armour 1-147       Shields 0-0       HTK 102      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 12    Max Repair 517.0 MSP
Major    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Apollo-130 Commercial Jump Drive       Max Ship Size 130300 tons    Distance 25k km     Squadron Size 2
Commercial Gas-Core Drive (10)    Power 2400.0    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 750,000 Litres    Range 60.9 billion km (393 days at full power)

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Aether class Terraforming Station      126,557 tons       516 Crew       2,714.2 BP       TCS 2,531    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 69      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 500 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Terraformer: 5 modules producing 0.0013 atm per annum

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Daru Mozu class Fuel Harvester Station      129,094 tons       536 Crew       1,770.4 BP       TCS 2,582    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 279      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 8    Max Repair 30 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Fuel Harvester: 50 modules producing 2,400,000 litres per annum

Fuel Capacity 2,000,000 Litres    Range N/A
Refuelling Capability: 50,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 40 hours

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Colonial Fleet (as of January 2300)
6x Galactica class Battlestar: Ares, Athena, Atlantia,  Columbia, Galactica, Solaris
4x Valkyrie class Battlestar: Aesir, Kraken, Valkyrie, Vanir
2x Loki class Support Vessel: Loki, Freya
4x Poseidon class Troop Transport: Aeolus, Antaeus, Amphitrite, Poseidon
4x Tylium class Replenishment Ship: Demetrius, Gideon, Hitei Kan, Tylium
4x Hermes class Jump Tender: Dionysus, Hermes, Palaestra, Rhadamanthus
6x Triton class Stabilisation Ship: Charon, Galatea, Nereid, Proteus, Thalassa, Triton
4x Atlas class Tug: Astraeus, Atlas, Cronus, Oceanus
5x Traveller class Freighter
5x Olympic class Colony Ship
2x Aether class Terraforming Station
2x Daru Mozu Fuel Harvester Station
12x Raptor-G
12x Raptor-R
12x Raptor-M
32x Raptor-S
408x Viper ML I

Colonial Marine Corps
In January 2300, the Colonial Marine Corps comprised eight regiments, each with three marine battalions and one planetary defence battalion. Two raiding forces were assigned to each of the six Galactica class Battlestars.

Colonial Marine Raiding Force
Transport Size: 500 tons
Build Cost: 37 BP
40x Colonial Marine Raider
2x Marine Raiding Force HQ

Colonial Marine Battalion
Transport Size: 4,873 tons
Build Cost: 152 BP
400x Colonial Marine
100x Colonial Marine - LMG
24x Anti-Tank Section
2x Forward Air Control Party
12x Centaur AFV
8x Supply Section
1x Marine Battalion HQ

Regimental Assets
Transport Size: 4,853 tons
Build Cost: 149 BP
1x Regimental HQ
48x Medium Howitzer
36x Supply Vehicle

Planetary Defence Battalion
Transport Size: 4,563 tons
Build Cost: 766 BP
6x Sphinx Planetary Defence Installation
2x Hydra Planetary Defence Installation
1x Marine Battalion HQ

A History of the Twelve Colonies: 2300 - 2301
The first two years of the twenty-fourth century were extremely eventful for the Colonial Fleet and the Twelve Colonies. The primary objective of the Fleet during the period was to locate new resources to replace those being rapidly exhausted on Earth, firstly in Sol and then in the surrounding systems. Two vital early discoveries were large, accessible deposits of Duranium and Gallicite on Mars and vast quantities of gaseous Sorium in Jupiter’s atmosphere. There was also further evidence of alien activity. A destroyed alien outpost was discovered on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, along with a large alien construct of unknown function. The Twelve Colonies did not have the capabilities requires to properly investigate either discovery, so several research facilities were dedicated to the development of Xenoarchaeology.

Mars Survey Report
Duranium:   749,088   0.80
Tritanium:   1,040,400   0.10
Vendarite:   5,664,400   0.10
Sorium:   2,137,444   0.10
Gallicite:   1,040,400   0.80

Jupiter Survey Report
Sorium:   28,242,500   0.90

Six jump points were discovered within the Sol system, three of which were outside the orbit of Neptune with a fourth just inside. The fifth and sixth were close to the orbits of Uranus and Saturn respectively. The locations of the jump points so far from Earth would make expansion more difficult than expected. Even so, by the end of 2301, a total of twenty-five new systems had been discovered.



In June 2300, a Raptor-G from the Battlestar Vanir found a potential, long-term source of Duranium on a small terrestrial world in the Tau Ceti system, two jumps from Sol via Aeolus. Twenty million tons at 0.8 accessibility would last for decades. The planet itself had small frozen lakes covering around ten percent of the surface, plus a thin oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere. The temperature was low at -52C, but it was still a reasonable terraforming candidate.

Tau Ceti-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   20,736,800   0.80
Tritanium:   1,177,225   0.80
Sorium:   11,055,625   0.50

A month after the discovery, another of Vanir’s Raptor-Gs received an unintelligible communication from the vicinity of Tau Ceti I, a superjovian with no planets, and shortly thereafter detected two ships in orbit; an 8,184-ton Basilcon and a 5,197-ton Sauricon. The latter had a speed of 4762 km/s. The Battlestar Vanir, with Viper Squadron 31 "Griffins" embarked, was located in the adjacent Aeolus system, along with the support vessel Loki and could enter Tau Ceti if needed. However, there was no way to move the superior firepower of a Galactica class Battlestar into Aeolus or Tau Ceti without stabilising the jump points first. For now, the Raptor moved away to avoid contact with the source of the message.



A small Armistice class Diplomatic Station was constructed at Earth and towed to the innermost planet of Tau Ceti in an attempt to establish communications. In addition, a freighter was dispatched to deliver a tracking station to a new listening post established on the first moon of Aeolus-A II, intended to monitor any alien movement toward Sol.

Armistice class Diplomatic Station      1,884 tons       66 Crew       374.7 BP       TCS 38    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 11      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 124    Max Repair 300 MSP
Colonel    Control Rating 1   BRG   DIP   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

On August 8th, the freighter in Aeolus was close to its destination when it detected a ship of a second alien race. The Battlestar Vanir, stationed on the Aeolus - Sol jump point, headed in-system immediately to assist the Traveller class freighter. Strangely, even though the alien ship was less than six million kilometres away and the Traveller had an Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor with a range of over 23m km, there was no active contact. Either the alien was very small or had some form of stealth technology. The freighter attempted to move away at its maximum speed of 1820 km/s and the alien gave chase, closing rapidly at 4,737 km/s.



When the alien ship, designated as Mortis class, closed within 350,000 km was it was finally detected on active sensors. It had a cross-section of just 739 tons, smaller than a Raptor. At 150,000 km, the Mortis opened fire with a pair of railguns, possibly of similar calibre to those on Colonial Fleet Battlestars, although with a fifteen second rate of fire rather than twenty, initially inflicting only minor armour damage on the freighter. Given the likely size of the railguns compared to the cross-section of the alien ship, the Mortis was apparently equipped with some form of stealth technology.

The Mortis continued closing, ignoring all hails and maintained fire until the freighter exploded, along with its cargo of a deep space tracking station. The Battlestar Vanir continued in-system while another freighter was dispatched from Earth. Five days later Vanir rescued seventy-nine survivors from the freighter’s crew but there was no sign of the alien ship nearby. The Battlestar moved toward the inner system and detected thermal emissions from the alien ship at a range of fourteen million kilometres. Viper Squadron 31 "Griffins" launched immediately with orders to attack. With a speed of 8000 km/s they were considerably faster than the Mortis.

The alien ship apparently detected the fighters because it turned to run and managed to move out of Vanir’s sensor range before the fighters could acquire it themselves. The fighters continued on the same course and less than an hour later the Mortis reappeared between the Viper squadron and the Battlestar. Both moved to intercept. The Mortis obviously regarded the fast moving Vipers as the main threat as it moved directly away from them. The much slower Vanir, with engines designed for endurance and a maximum speed of 2240 km/s, could only intercept if the alien moved toward it, but it could use its far superior sensors to maintain contact until the Vipers could close to their own sensor range of two million kilometres. The Viper sensors were designed to detect missiles so they could maintain active contact with the Mortis throughout that range.



The Mortis moved around the Vanir, avoiding any contact, but by that time the fighters had a target lock and began their final approach, having to close through the alien ship’s much longer weapon range before they could fire back. At 144,000 km, a Viper took three strength-1 hits and suffered a secondary explosion that blew it to pieces. A second viper was destroyed at 94,000 km and a third at 44,000 km.

Moments after the loss of the third Viper, the nine remaining members of Viper Squadron 31 opened fire, scoring eight strength-1 armour hits. Their cannon recycled every five seconds and they continued firing as they closed. By the time the Mortis fired again, destroying a fourth Viper, the first hits were penetrating its armour. Fifteen seconds later, a fifth Viper exploded, leaving just seven survivors from the squadron, but the Mortis was down to half speed. One more salvo was sufficient to destroy it, with the coup-de-grace delivered by Captain Caerus Reza of Viper FTR-45 ‘Ghost Rider’. After picking up the Colonial survivors, Vanir headed back to the Sol jump point.

On August 31st, the Battlestar Kraken arrived at the Sol – Aeolus to transfer replacement fighters to Vanir. Both Valkyrie class ships had sent one of their scout Raptors back to Earth so their sole fighter squadrons could be increased to fifteen Vipers, matching those squadrons embarked on the Galactica class Battlestars. They retained their six survey Raptors, split between geological and gravitational. Vanir moved to the centre of Aeolus, escorting a newly arrived freighter that unloaded a tracking station on the first moon of Aeolus II, then held position to support her Raptors deployed in the adjacent systems of Tau Ceti and Tauron.

A month later, a survey Raptor in Tau Ceti encountered a substantial force from the alien race that had first attempted communications in July. The alien fleet was detected among the outer moons of Tau Ceti III and comprised eight ships split between four different classes; four Chimericon of 57,147 tons, a 16,371-ton Serpenticon, a: 16,079-ton Predatoricon and two 8,189-ton Reptilicons. The alien squadron moved into orbit of Tau Ceti III, a Saturn-sized gas giant, and appeared to be harvesting fuel. The Armistice station in orbit of the first planet was towed to Tau Ceti III, so it could maintain contacts, while the Raptor set course for Aeolus, abandoning any further survey efforts in Tau Ceti.



Full communications were established two weeks later. The aliens, which were heavily-built reptilian humanoids, called themselves the Stave Commonality. With no habitable planets in Tau Ceti, it was highly unlikely they were native to the system, but without a gravitational survey there was no way to determine their origin. For the moment, the Council of Twelve, which governed the Colonies, decided to maintain the status quo to reduce the chance of conflict.

On December 14th 2300, a Raptor-G from Battlestar Aesir was attacked in orbit of the sole planet in the Procyon system, two jumps from Sol via Barnard’s Star, by a Mortis class ship from the same aliens that destroyed the Traveller class freighter in Aeolus. The Raptor tried to run but was quickly destroyed. A Raptor-R conducting a gravitational survey of Procyon immediately set course for the Barnard’s Star jump point to alert its parent Battlestar, stationed on the Barnard’s Star – Medea jump point.

It took twelve days for the Raptor-R to arrive in Barnard’s Star, a further eighteen days for Aesir to enter Procyon with the assistance of the support vessel Freya and then thirty days for Aesir to reach the planet, where the Mortis was detected in orbit. Aesir launched Viper Squadron 37 "Scorpions", comprising twelve Viper MK Is. As soon as the Mortis detected the approaching Colonial force it broke orbit, heading away at ninety degrees to the fighter’s course. With a converging course, rather than a stern chase, the range fell more quickly than in Aeolus. A single Viper was destroyed on approach and a second in close combat. After only three volleys from the Colonial fighters, the Mortis vanished in a huge strength-85 secondary explosion.

Procyon was three transits from Aeolus, but the route was through Sol so it was difficult to see how the aliens could be in both systems. Colonial Intelligence suspected an as-yet-undetected link between the systems, but it was also possible, and very concerning, that the hostile aliens had a large Empire and the Twelve Colonies were on its outer edge.

After a quiet few months, a Basilicon class ship of the Stave Commonality was detected in Aeolus, adjacent to Sol, in late April 2301. The Commonality was expanding its area of operations. Two weeks later, a whole squadron appeared and began salvaging the wreck of the alien Mortis, plus the Colonial freighter and fighter wrecks. The Council of Twelve began to consider a claim on the Aeolus system, although there were no suitable sites for a large colony. The available real estate comprised two gas giants and a dozen low gravity moons.

Instead, a colony was established on the sixteenth moon of Tauron-A III. Aeolus had three jump points, leading to Tau Ceti, Sol and Tauron, so by creating a claim on Tauron, it would cut off any potential further expansion by the Commonality. The moon, similar in size to Luna, was not ideal in environmental terms. It lacked both water and atmosphere and the surface temperature was -145C, while the parent gas giant had an eccentric orbit between sixty-seven million and a hundred and twenty-two million kilometres. However, it had substantial, accessible deposits of Duranium, Neutronium and Corundium and its relatively small size made it easier to terraform. Shortly after the founding of the colony, a Commonality scout ship appeared in Tauron.

Tauron-A III - Moon 16 Survey Report
Duranium:   1,877,922   1.00
Neutronium:   1,214,404   0.90
Tritanium:   61,009   1.00
Uridium:   3,326,976   0.70
Corundium:   1,718,721   0.20

On July 3rd 2301, the new Valkyrie class Battlestars Fenrir and Jormungandr joined the Colonial Fleet. They were dispatched to survey the systems of Sirius and Altair. The reinforcement of the fleet was very timely. Ten weeks later, a Commonality Fleet comprising five 44,671-ton Raptoricons and two 8,189-ton Reptilicons entered Sol. The latter was believed to be some form of small escort warship, but the function of the larger ships was unknown. Several other small ships were detected in the following weeks, most likely scouts or survey ships.



On October 15th, a formal message was sent to the Stave Commonality requesting that their ships leave Sol as it was Colonial territory. To the shock of the Council of Twelve, the Commonality rejected the request out of hand and stated that Sol was too important for them to vacate. The Council decide to upgrade their diplomatic statement to a demand, but if the Commonality rejected it once more then the Colonial Fleet would eject them from Sol, Aeolus and Tauron. Before the demand was made, precautions were required.

The Battlestars Columbia and Solaris were dispatched to the Sol – Aeolus jump point, while Battlestar Atlantia was sent to Jupiter to protect the fuel harvesting operation. Battlestar Athena was assigned to Tauron to protect the colony and, if necessary, engage any Commonality ships in the system. Battlestars Ares and Galactica remained at Earth. On November 11th, they were joined by the newly-constructed Galactica class Battlestars Acropolis and Pegasus. Due to the rate of fighter construction, Pegasus had a reduced strikegroup with all her assigned Raptors but only two Viper squadrons. Acropolis had a full complement.

While the military preparations continued in and around Sol, a new colony was founded in the Leonis system, two jumps from Earth via Persephone. The colony was on the fourteenth moon of Leonis-B II, a large gas giant. As with the Tauron colony, the moon lacked atmosphere and water but was even smaller at 2000 kilometres in diameter and the temperature was much close to the habitable range at -28C. The moon also had seven accessible mineral deposits, albeit with smaller amounts than the Tauron colony.

Leonis-B II - Moon 14 Survey Report
Duranium:   561,800   0.90
Neutronium:   184,900   0.70
Tritanium:   160,000   0.60
Boronide:   490,000   0.70
Sorium:   136,900   0.50
Corundium:   640,000   0.90
Gallicite:   396,900   1.00

In late November, a Raptor-S scout was launched from the Battlestar Columbia, stationed on the Sol – Aeolus jump point, to shadow three Commonality ships as they entered Sol and headed for Uranus. All three were a new type of 36,518 tons with commercial engines designated as Dragonscale class. A second trio of Dragonscales followed two days later and a second scout was assigned to follow them. As they approached Uranus, the first scout detected a large Commonality fleet in orbit of Trinculo, the smallest of the gas giant’s twenty-seven moons, plus ground forces on the surface. The tiny moon had several small but high accessibility mineral deposits.

Trinculo Survey Report
Duranium:   14,377   1.00
Neutronium:   9,531   1.00
Corbomite:   4,023   1.00
Tritanium:   7,496   1.00
Boronide:   7,496   1.00
Gallicite:   152   1.00



The Council of Twelve and Colonial Fleet headquarters were both surprised at the Commonality forces dedicated to the moon, but reasoned that if the Stave had to come this far for a relatively small mining opportunity, their own mineral resources must be extremely limited, which explained their reluctance to leave the Sol system. The chances of them giving up and leaving in the face of Colonial demands were therefore judged to be very low. On that basis, the Council of Twelve ordered the Colonial Fleet to prepare a first strike against the Stave Commonality with simultaneous attacks on their forces in Sol, Aeolus and Tauron, followed by a blockade of the Aeolus – Tau Ceti jump point. As a first step, the Battlestar Acropolis was detached from the force in Earth orbit and sent to Uranus.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2022, 05:02:03 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2022, 05:15:04 AM »
The Commonality War
On December 5th 2301, Vice Admiral Samuel Zagreus, commanding the combat forces of the Colonial Fleet, gave the order to ready combat operations against the Stave Commonality. There were several points of immediate contact. The Battlestars Columbia and Acropolis were close to the large Commonality fleet in orbit of Trinculo, the smallest moon of Uranus, comprising two 100,000-ton Thunderchilds, five 45,000-ton Raptoricons, a 16,400-ton Serpenticon and three 8200-ton Reptilicons. The Serpenticon and the Reptilicons were assumed to be escort warships, although their armament was unknown, while the larger ships had commercial engines. Columbia and Acropolis were ordered to send their fighters against the warships, then attempt to board the Thunderchilds and Raptoricons.



A smaller Commonality fleet was believed to be between Uranus and the Sol – Aeolus jump point so the Battlestar Solaris was based on the jump point to prevent its escape. A single Dragonscale class ship was close to the Sol side of the jump point and two more were within thirty million kilometres of the Aeolus side. Solaris was ordered to capture or eliminate the Dragonscales then intercept any targets of opportunity. A Stave survey ship was close to Jupiter so that was designated as a target for the Battlestar Atlantia, guarding the fuel harvesters in orbit of the gas giant.



The Battlestar Athena was at the Tauron – Aeolus jump point, in close company with a Commonality squadron of five ships, comprising a 73,00-ton Dragonfire, a 16,000-ton Predatoricon, a Serpenticon and two Reptilicons. The Dragonfire was believed to be a stabilisation ship. The Valkyrie class battleship Vanir was in the inner system and was tasked with eliminating a Basilicon class survey ship. Once Tauron was clear, Athena would enter Aeolus and sweep the inner system, before moving on the Tau Ceti jump point in conjunction with Columbia and Acropolis, once they completed their task near Uranus.



At 10:41am, all units signaled readiness and the attack order was given. The first blow was struck by the planetary defence battalion of the Seventh Colonial Marine Regiment "Magnificent Seventh", based at the Tauron colony. Its six AK-20S surface-based railguns and G20-8S defence turrets targeted the Basilicon class scout ship, which had moved into orbit and blew it to pieces. The first casualty was the commanding officer of the 12th Colonial Marine Raiding Force from the Battlestar Solaris, lost as his forty marine raiders boarded a Dragonscale class ship near the Aeolus – Sol jump point.

At Uranus, one hundred and twenty Viper MK Is from the Battlestars Columbia and Acropolis charged toward the Commonality fleet in orbit of Trinculo, scoring over two hundred hits on the four Stave warships, including eleven that penetrated the armour of the three smaller Reptilicons. The Battlestars followed in their wake. At the Tauron – Aeolus jump point, the Battlestar Athena had the hardest task, facing alone a greater weight of warships than her two sisters faced at Uranus. Her sixty Vipers were slightly slower off the mark and only inflicted sixty-four hits on the two Reptilicons, one of which penetrated armour.

The Commonality was fast to respond. The 16,400-ton Serpenticon and 8200-ton Reptilicons were armed with twelve and twenty-eight fast-firing railguns respectively, making them deadly against Vipers at close range, while the lone engaged Predatoricon was armed with twelve larger-calibre railguns. At Uranus, even though the tactical surprise achieved by the Colonial Fleet greatly reduced the losses, nine Vipers were destroyed. Two of the three Reptilicon class escort exploded under heavy fire. The third was damaged and the Serpenticon suffered minor internal damage.

Nine more Vipers were destroyed at the Tauron – Aeolus jump point by the Predatoricon, Serpenticon and two Reptilicons. The losses represented fifteen percent of Athena’s entire strike force. The two Reptilicons suffered more than forty hits each, but few penetrated armour. The Battlestar Athena was not yet engaged due to a positioning error prior to the battle, followed by confusion over targeting, which meant the battle was now in doubt. In Tau Ceti, the small diplomatic station was obliterated by Commonality forces.

Near Uranus, the third Reptilicon was cut to pieces by the massed Viper squadrons, although they paid for it with five of their number. The Serpenticon broke away from the commercial-engined ships and increased speed to 5039 km/s, a very worrying development given the maximum speed of the Galactica class Battlestar was only 3200 km/s. The entire strikegroup of the Battlestar Columbia and two squadrons from the Battlestar Acropolis ran it down and inflicted significant internal damage. The Serpenticon changed its targeting to the Battlestar Columbia, which registered sixty-three separate impacts from railgun rounds. Columbia returned fire and tore the alien warship apart.

In Tauron, Athena’s strikegroup lost another seven Vipers and all four Stave warships were still in the fight, although the two Reptilicons were badly damaged. The Battlestar Athena had not yet fired her weapons. The alien ships, which had been moving away from the Battlestar suddenly reversed course and closed to point-blank range, perhaps thinking the large warship was defenceless. That proved to be an error as Athena finally unleased her firepower on the undamaged Serpenticon class escort cruiser, scoring forty-three strength-4 hits and thirty-two strength-1 hits and smashing through the Stave armour. The surviving Vipers closed in and finished off the two crippled Reptilicons, suffering four losses of their own with a fifth dead in space.

Commander Tamara Thorne of the Battlestar Athena ordered her thirty-nine remaining Vipers to attack the undamaged Predatoricon class cruiser. The Predatoricon and the damaged Serpenticon both focused their fire on Athena, scoring forty-six strength-4 and sixty strength-1 hits. A single hit penetrated the Battlestar’s armour, failing to cause any internal damage, and the armour suffered significant damage in several other areas. In return, Athena’s gauss cannon ground away at the Serpenticon’s armour, with half the shots penetrating. The Vipers were still adjusting to their new target and inflicted few hits on the Predatoricon class cruiser.

Athena and the Serpenticon exchanged fire again. Athena sustained a further forty-four hits, none of which penetrated her armour. The Serpenticon exploded, leaving only the Predatoricon in action at the Tauron – Aeolus jump point. About a third of the remaining Vipers were attacking from close range. Concerned about the armour damage to her Battlestar, Commander Thorne decided to open the range and leave the Vipers to handle the close combat. As the range opened, the Predatoricon fired again, scoring forty-one strength-2 hits on Athena, penetrating her armour in three places and disabling one of her eight Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-600 Gas Core Drives.

The Vipers continued their close range attack on the Commonality cruiser. Atmosphere finally began streaming from the Predatoricon just after Athena was slowed by damage. Athena continued opening the range and fired her AK-20 railguns at just over a hundred thousand kilometres. The Predatoricon took twenty-seven strength-1 hits then suddenly vanished in a strength-87 secondary explosion, to the considerable relief of the bridge crew on the Battlestar Athena. Athena would require urgent repairs to her battered armour and had lost a third of her Vipers, but she had still won a notable victory. Commander Thorne launched her two Raptor-Ms with orders to capture the lone commercial-engined Commonality ship, a 73,000-ton Dragonfire that was assumed to be a stabilisation ship.

Near Uranus, with all alien warships destroyed, the Battlestars Columbia and Acropolis launched their Raptor-Ms to commence boarding assaults against four of the alien commercial-engined ships, the two 100,000-ton Thunderchilds and two of the five 45,000-ton Raptoricons, then Acropolis recovered her fighters and headed for the Sol – Aeolus jump point to support the Battlestar Solaris, leaving Columbia to oversee the cleanup around Uranus. Meanwhile in Aeolus, a new Commonality Squadron of three warships and a commercial-engined ship designed as Swiftclaw class was detected in the inner system by the Colonial listening post on a moon of the second planet.



With naval combat over for the moment, the focus of the Colonial Fleet moved to the ongoing boarding operations, rescuing Colonial and Stave survivors and running down any stragglers, such as the geosurvey ship near Jupiter and a Dragonscale class near the Sol – Aeolus jump point. Vice Admiral Zagreus was also tempted to order the Battlestar Solaris to leave her position on the Aeolus – Sol jump point and attempt to intercept the Commonality squadron in the inner system of Aeolus, but did not want to leave the jump point uncovered. He would reassess once Solaris was joined by the Battlestar Acropolis.

The first ship to be captured was a Dragonscale class near the Aeolus – Sol jump point, approximately four minutes after combat began, which turned out to be a freighter. It was followed a minute later by the Dragonfire in Tauron, which, as expected, proved to be a stabilisation ship. The two captured ships confirmed that the Commonality had superior engine technology to the Twelve Colonies and had already deployed ion-engined ships.

Dragonscale class Freighter      36,518 tons       105 Crew       435 BP       TCS 730    TH 1,000    EM 0
1369 km/s      Armour 1-98       Shields 0-0       HTK 40      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 7    Max Repair 50 MSP
Cargo 25,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 1   
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Kyi P200.00 Civilian Drive (5)    Power 1000    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 24.4 billion km (205 days at full power)

Dragonfire class Construction Ship      72,994 tons       294 Crew       1,783.6 BP       TCS 1,460    TH 2,000    EM 0
1369 km/s      Armour 1-155       Shields 0-0       HTK 83      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 15    Max Repair 1000 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Jump Point Stabilisation: 180 days

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (10)    Power 2000    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 300,000 Litres    Range 24.4 billion km (205 days at full power)
CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5   

Two Vipers from the Battlestar Atlantia intercepted the Sauricon class survey ship near Jupiter and opened fire. The ship promptly surrendered. As with the other captured ships, it was equipped with ion engines.

Sauricon class Geosurvey Ship      5,198 tons       99 Crew       497.2 BP       TCS 104    TH 495    EM 0
4762 km/s      Armour 1-26       Shields 0-0       HTK 31      Sensors 6/6/0/1      DCR 6      PPV 0
Maint Life 5.46 Years     MSP 358    AFR 36%    IFR 0.5%    1YR 20    5YR 302    Max Repair 100 MSP
Major    Control Rating 2   BRG   SCI   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP247.50 (2)    Power 495.0    Fuel Use 9.21%    Signature 247.5    Explosion 6%
Fuel Capacity 600,000 Litres    Range 225.6 billion km (548 days at full power)

Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Geological Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

The boarding actions near Uranus against the huge Thunderchilds and the smaller Raptoricons were not going as well. Ten minutes after the start of combat, the 13th and 14th Raiding Forces attacking the Thunderchilds had both taken over fifty percent casualties. The 10th Raiding Force succeeded in capturing a Raptoricon but lost both officers and thirty percent of its marines. The 9th Raiding Force fared better, securing a second Raptoricon with the loss of six marines. Twenty minutes after the combat began, the last of the marines on the Thunderchilds were overrun and from the desperate combat reports, they had taken steady casualties throughout the battle. The Thunderchild class ships either had very large crews, or there were troops on board.

Raptoricon class Orbital Miner      44,671 tons       428 Crew       1,284.1 BP       TCS 893    TH 800    EM 0
895 km/s      Armour 1-112       Shields 0-0       HTK 78      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 17    Max Repair 120 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Orbital Miner: 7 modules producing 84 tons per mineral per annum

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (4)    Power 800    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 19.9 billion km (257 days at full power)

Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The Battlestar Columbia launched Viper Squadron 24 "Flying Tigers" with orders to eliminate the two ships. There were no other intact and available boarding forces closer than Earth and Commander Leto Medea of the Columbia did not want to end up chasing the Stave ships halfway across the system. Once the Vipers opened fire, it became apparent the Thunderchilds had formidable armour for a commercial-engined ship, which suggested they might be troop transports and explained the loss of the two marine raiding forces. The result was never in doubt though. After a considerable battering from the Vipers’ cannon, the first ship exploded. The second, perhaps due to seeing the fate of its sister ship, surrendered after the second volley. As already surmised, it was a well-armoured troop transport.

Thunderchild class Troop Transport      101,020 tons       600 Crew       4,231.5 BP       TCS 2,020    TH 3,400    EM 0
1682 km/s      Armour 7-193       Shields 0-0       HTK 253      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 26    Max Repair 200 MSP
Troop Capacity 45,000 tons     Drop Capable    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 2   
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (17)    Power 3400    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 1,300,000 Litres    Range 76.3 billion km (524 days at full power)

CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Three Raptoricon class orbital miners still remained near Uranus, but they were slow-moving and less well-defended. Commander Medea decided to recover the raiding forces from the first two captured Raptoricons and send them against the remaining ships. Meanwhile in Aeolus, a Raptor-M from Solaris closed in on the second Dragonscale class freighter near the Sol jump point. The 11th Marine Raiding Force launched a boarding attempt and quickly secured the ship.

Two hours later, the 9th and 10th Marine Raiding Forces were back on their Raptor-M transports and launched new boarding assaults against two of the remaining three Raptoricons. Both assaults went badly. The 9th secured the ship, but lost twenty-five of thirty-six marines. The understrength 10th lost all twenty-eight marines and was unable to capture the orbital miner. The eleven survivors of the 9th were all that remained from the original force of one hundred and sixty-eight marine raiders on board the Battlestars Columbia and Acropolis. They all volunteered to finish the job started by the fallen 10th. While their ship was en route to their target, a Viper from the Battlestar Columbia fired on the Raptoricon that had not been boarded. The ship surrendered and so did the Raptoricon assaulted by the 10th. Less than a quarter of its crew were still alive. The only Commonality forces left near Uranus were on the surface of Trinculo. A marine regiment was en route from Earth to assault the Stave colony.

Eight hours after the start of hostilities, a new Commonality squadron was detected in Sol. The Battlestar Acropolis was eighty-five million kilometres from Uranus, en route to join the Battlestar Solaris at the Aeolus jump point, when it detected two Thunderchild class troop transports, a Reptilicon class escort and a Serpenticon class escort cruiser. Acropolis set an intercept course. She still had all sixty Vipers as the fighter losses in the Battle of Uranus were all from the strikegroup of the Battlestar Columbia. Meanwhile, the two marine raiding forces from the Battlestar Solaris had boarded their transports after the capture of two Dragonscale freighters near the Aeolus - Sol jump point then transited into the Sol system to chase down and capture two more freighters near the Sol side of the jump point.

While the Battlestar Acropolis closed on the Commonality squadron, a single Viper from Columbia was chasing down an intermittent contact from a Basilicon class scout a hundred and fifty million kilometres from Uranus, not far from the edge of Acropolis’ active sensor range. The scout was moving around but occasionally using its active sensor. The Viper finally managed to get on the far side of the Basilicon and used its own active sensor to scare it toward Acropolis. Once the Battlestar had a steady active contact, the Viper was able to close in and attack. After losing half its armour and suffering minor internal damage, the Basilicon surrendered.

Basilicon class Scout      8,185 tons       142 Crew       952 BP       TCS 164    TH 825    EM 0
5040 km/s      Armour 3-36       Shields 0-0       HTK 38      Sensors 36/36/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.12 Years     MSP 72    AFR 536%    IFR 7.4%    1YR 587    5YR 8,801    Max Repair 206.25 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP412.5 (2)    Power 825.0    Fuel Use 33.03%    Signature 412.5    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,450,000 Litres    Range 96.6 billion km (221 days at full power)

CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Active Search Sensor AS67-R106 (1)     GPS 11448     Range 68m km    Resolution 106
Thermal Sensor TH6-36 (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  47.4m km
EM Sensor EM6-36 (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  47.4m km

Commander Phaedra Thrace of the Battlestar Acropolis ordered her Viper squadrons into space, but kept them in close formation. The two Stave warships had deadly but short-ranged armaments, while Acropolis’ railguns could fire at 160,000 km. She intended to hold the range open and engage with her main guns, only releasing the Vipers if the enemy warships broke formation with the troop transports. The first shots were fired at 154,000 km, inflicting sixteen strength-1 hits on the Reptilicon class escort.

The Stave warships immediately accelerated to 5039 km/s and charged toward Acropolis, leaving the troop transports astern. Acropolis reversed course and fired at the approaching ships at 85,000 km, followed by a devastating volley at 48,000 that blew apart the Reptilicon. Commander Thrace released her fighters to attack the Serpenticon. As they had been targeting the cruiser while they remained in formation, there was no delay in their attack. The Serpenticon ignored the Vipers and attacked Acropolis with her twenty-eight fast-firing railguns.

The sixty Vipers required just three volleys to destroy the Stave escort cruiser, by which time Acropolis had been hit more than two hundred times and her armour had been penetrated to a depth of fifty percent in five places. While Acropolis would need repair, Commander Thrace had sacrificed armour to preserve the lives of her Viper pilots. One squadron of Vipers attacked each of the two troop transports. The first surrendered after losing an engine and half of its armour. The second surrendered only after suffering massive internal damage and losing almost its entire armour belt. The only Commonality naval forces remaining on sensors were the four ships in the inner system of Aeolus, apparently heading for the Tau Ceti jump point. There were no Colonial ships in a position to intercept.

Fifteen Commonality ships had been captured, either via boarding assault or under threat of attack: Three Thunderchild class troop transports, five Raptoricon class orbital miners, four Dragonscale class freighters, a Dragonfire class stabilisation ship, a Basilicon class scout and a Sauricon class geological survey ship. All of them except the Dragonfire in Tauron headed for Earth, albeit at minimal speed while the prize crews became familiar with their new charges. Commonality losses included a Predatoricon class cruiser, three Serpenticon class escort cruisers, six Reptilicon class escorts, a Basilicon class scout and a Thunderchild class troop transport. Unfortunately their total strength was unknown.

At 4am on December 8th, almost three days after the start of the war, the Battlestar Acropolis joined the Battlestar Solaris on the Aeolus – Sol jump point. The Battlestar Ares was en route from Earth to relive the Acropolis, due to the armour damage suffered in her recent engagement, but Colonial Fleet headquarters wanted two Battlestars on the key jump point so Acropolis would remain forward deployed until her relief arrived. The Battlestar Athena was even more in need of repair, but remained in Tauron for the moment, as the did the lightly damaged Columbia at Uranus. At the Aeolus - Tau Ceti jump point, a Raptor-S from Solaris monitored the progress of the Commonality squadron as it moved toward the jump point and transited.



On the Sol side of the Aeolus jump point, a Raptor-S from Solaris was using its Artemis-40 active sensors to monitor local traffic. Over the course of forty-eight hours, starting on December 10th, the scout detected four Dragonscale class freighters and a new type designated as Gryphonicon class, all approaching the jump point a few hours apart. A Raptor-M was dispatched from Solaris with the 11th Marine Raiding Force, which captured all four freighters as they appeared. The Gryphonicon was 7700 tons and moving at 4800 km/s. Two squadrons of Vipers, the “Tiger Sharks” and the “Red Hawks”, were sent to intercept. The Gryphonicon proved to be an unarmed gravitational survey ship and surrendered after two volleys from a single Viper. In Tauron, a Sauricon geological survey ship approached the Aeolus jump point and surrendered after being attacked by a Viper from the Battlestar Athena.

Gryphonicon class Survey Ship      7,733 tons       125 Crew       628.6 BP       TCS 155    TH 743    EM 0
4801 km/s      Armour 1-34       Shields 0-0       HTK 42      Sensors 12/18/1/0      DCR 6      PPV 0
Maint Life 3.25 Years     MSP 304    AFR 80%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 44    5YR 653    Max Repair 100 MSP
Major    Control Rating 2   BRG   SCI   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP247.50 (3)    Power 742.5    Fuel Use 9.21%    Signature 247.5    Explosion 6%
Fuel Capacity 1,200,000 Litres    Range 303.3 billion km (731 days at full power)

Thermal Sensor TH2-12 (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
EM Sensor EM3-18 (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33.5m km
Gravitational Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

The 11th Marine Raiding Force captured another freighter on December 18th then returned to the Battlestar Solaris for a well-earned rest. The 12th Marine Raiding Force took over, capturing another Commonality freighter trying to move from Sol to Aeolus on December 20th. Three days later, Vipers from Solaris destroyed a Sauricon and a Gryphonicon near the Sol side of the jump point. It seemed that far more Commonality ships had been in Sol than was suspected by Colonial intelligence. As these were mostly unarmed, they were now trying to escape hostile space and were running into the powerful jump point picket force. To prevent similar problems in the future, a series of Skywatch Sensor Platforms were being built and would be deployed at key jump points, including all six of Sol’s jump points.

Skywatch class Sensor Platform      285 tons       16 Crew       59.2 BP       TCS 6    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 5      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 129    Max Repair 20 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The 5th Marine Regiment, comprising fifteen hundred Colonial Marines backed up by three dozen medium tanks and almost fifty howitzers, landed on Trinculo on Christmas Day; a present for the Commonality occupiers.  The opposing force was comprised of approximately eight hundred infantry with limited anti-air and anti-tank support. The Stave infantry seemed to have better weapons than the Colonial Marines, but weaker armour. The battle lasted five days and while initially hard-fought the Colonial Marines soon gained the upper hand. Colonial casualties were less than ten percent, although the Stave managed to knock out one of the Centaur AFVs. There were twenty automated mines on the moon, which were left in place as the moon had accessible deposits, even if very limited in quantity. The 5th Marine Regiment, which included the 5th Planetary Defence Battalion, also remained on the surface in case the Commonality returned to Uranus. The Battlestar Columbia, which fought in the Battle of Uranus and covered the landing, headed for Earth.

On January 4th, the squadron of four Stave ships that had transited into Tau Ceti a month earlier, a commercial-engined Swiftclaw of 20,000 tons, a Predatoricon cruiser, a Serpenticon escort cruiser and a Reptilicon escort, returned to Aeolus and was detected by the Raptor-S holding position near the jump point. Their heading suggested they were heading for the Tauron jump point. While the Battlestar Athena was positioned on the far side of that jump point, it was damaged, carried only forty Vipers and was in no shape for a serious fight.



The Battlestars Ares and Solaris were on the Aeolus – Sol jump point and both were fully combat capable. The Battlestar Atlantia en route to Aeolus from Earth was intended to relieve Athena. Colonial Fleet Headquarters revised that plan and ordered Ares to immediately head for Tauron. The Commonality squadron would soon move out of the sensor range of the jump point sensor picket, so Ares could not intercept directly. Instead, she would move to its likely destination and link up with Athena. Once the threat was neutralised, the Battlestar Athena could head for home. When the Battlestar Atlantia arrived in approximately nine days she would join Solaris at the Aeolus – Sol jump point, replacing Ares.

Battlestar Ares was too late. The Commonality squadron had a speed of 1983 km/s, due to the commercial engined Swiftclaw, while the maximum speed of Ares was 3200 km/s. A Raptor-S from the Battlestar Athena detected the alien ships were forty million kilometres from the Tauron jump point while Ares was still one hundred and forty-five million kilometres away.



However, while Ares could not reach Athena in time, her Viper squadrons could. They had four times the speed of the Stave ships and were not quite four times further away. Commander Athena Zephyrus ordered her entire strikegroup to launch and race to the rescue of her namesake. The Battlestar Athena transited into Aeolus and readied her own strikegroup. Faced with the sudden appearance of Athena, the Commonality squadron changed course and headed for the Aeolus jump point, without realising that the Battlestar Ares was ahead of them. Commander Zephyrus ordered her strikegroup to halt and wait for Athena’s strikegroup to catch up and rendezvous. Meanwhile, Ares launched a scout Raptor to close in and shadow the enemy force. Within an hour, the enemy squadron altered course toward the Tau Ceti jump point. Presumably, the Battlestar Ares was now on their sensors and their original mission was rapidly diminishing in importance.



Commander Tamara Thorne of the Battlestar Athena was the senior officer so she assumed command of the imminent engagement. She ordered the two strikegroups to rendezvous near the Stave squadron and then launch a coordinated assault. The two Battlestars would move toward the battle area but hold back out of weapon range. The full strength Ares strikegroup was ordered to engage the Serpenticon escort cruiser while the smaller Athena group targeted the Reptilicon escort. The slower-firing Predatoricon was deemed far less of an immediate threat. Faced with one hundred Vipers, the Commonality squadron reversed course once again and tried to run.

Two Vipers were hit and destroyed at 150,000 km by the Predatoricon and two more at 52,000 km, then they entered weapon range of the faster-firing escort ships. Five Vipers died as the first shots from their cannon impacted all across the Stave armour belts and five more as they reached point-blank range. The eighty-six survivors ensured their fallen comrades did not die in vain as they inflicted one hundred and eighty-two hits on the two escort warships, thirty percent of which penetrated armour.

The next Viper volley destroyed the Serpenticon and the Reptilicon but with the Predatoricon firing again in their support, it cost another five fighters. All the remaining Vipers changed their targeting to the cruiser, although there would be some delays as fire controls were adjusted. The could not adjust in time to prevent the Stave warship from firing again and killing two Vipers, but their next attack caused a large secondary explosion and the Predatoricon disintegrated. Seventy-nine Vipers remained from the original one hundred.

Commander Thorne ordered a single Viper to attack the Swiftclaw in an effort to force a surrender. After four volleys without success, she ordered all the Vipers to return to their ships and launched her ship’s two Raptor-Ms with the 5th and 6th Marine Raiding Forces on board. The Swiftclaw was moving fast enough to cause casualties during the boarding attempt, but Colonial Intelligence suspected it was a salvage ship, which would prove extremely useful if it could be captured. The Colonial Fleet’s first salvage ship was only days away from launch but there were a lot of wrecks in Sol, Aeolus and Tauron.

A third of the Marine Raiders died before they landed on the Swiftclaw. They secured the ship inside five minutes with the loss of only two more Marines. As suspected it was a salvage ship. Rather than send it back to Earth, Commander Thorne decided the new ship would be used to salvage the wrecks either side of the Aeolus – Tauron jump point and requested freighter support as soon as it was available. In the meantime, the battered Battlestar Athena would return home. All the Vipers lost in the battle had been hers and she was down to nineteen fighters. Her damaged engine from the previous engagement had been repaired, but her armour remained at half strength. The Battlestar Ares would remain in the area.

Swiftclaw class Salvager      20,169 tons       180 Crew       626 BP       TCS 403    TH 800    EM 0
1983 km/s      Armour 1-66       Shields 0-0       HTK 46      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 19    Max Repair 200 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Salvager: 1 module(s) capable of salvaging 500 tons per day

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (4)    Power 800    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 44.1 billion km (257 days at full power)

CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The first Virgon class Salvager was launched on January 13th 2302. It was larger than its Commonality equivalent, with twice the salvaging capacity, although slightly slower. The immediate problem was a lack of freighters, all of which were on a trip to the new Leonis colony to keep them out of the combat area. As soon as they returned, the salvage effort would begin.

Virgon class Salvager      39,734 tons       320 Crew       948.7 BP       TCS 795    TH 1,440    EM 0
1812 km/s      Armour 1-103       Shields 0-0       HTK 68      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 14    Max Repair 200 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Salvager: 2 module(s) capable of salvaging 1000 tons per day

Commercial Gas-Core Drive (6)    Power 1440    Fuel Use 3.30%    Signature 240    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 68.5 billion km (437 days at full power)

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2022, 08:10:39 AM »
In late January 2302, a Skywatch sensor platform was positioned near the Aeolus – Tau Ceti jump point to relieve a Raptor-S from the Battlestar Solaris, that had been performing the task on a temporary basis. Soon after being deployed it detected a Basilicon class scout entering the system. The scout moved to the sensor platform and held station. With a lack of contacts in recent weeks, Colonial Intelligence believed that no significant Commonality forces remained outside Tau Ceti. Therefore, Colonial Fleet Headquarters ordered the Battlestars Atlantia, Solaris and Ares to leave their picket positions near the Aeolus – Sol and Aeolus – Tauron jump points and form a new forward-deployed force close to the Aeolus – Tau Ceti jump point, where they could intercept all traffic attempting to leave Commonality space.

As they closed in, the Battlestar Ares launched a Viper Squadron 11 “Blue Devils” to attack the Stave scout before it detected the approaching Battlestars. The Basilicon detected the fighters at ten million kilometres and ran for the jump point, but it was too late. The Vipers moved to weapon range and the squadron commander fired a few bursts to encourage a surrender. The Basilcon kept running so the whole squadron opened fire and blew it to pieces.

Once the three Battlestars rendezvoused thirty million kilometres from the Aeolus – Tai Ceti jump point, they were designated as the Second Fleet. The other five Galactica class Battlestars were all in Earth orbit, three of which had armour damage. Unfortunately, it would be at least eighteen months before that damage could be repaired because the only shipyard large enough was building the ninth and tenth units of the class. To avoid that difficulty in future, two Repair Yards were under construction and would be expanded until they large enough to repair any Battlestar. Meanwhile in Aeolus, the Battlestar Ares dispatched a Raptor-S through the Tau Ceti jump point on a scouting mission. The scout had just enough time to report a strong fleet of four Predatoricon cruisers, a Serpenticon escort cruiser and three Reptilicon escorts before it was obliterated by their combined firepower.

On March 21st 2302, the Skywatch platform at the Sol – Circe jump point, located close to the orbit of Neptune on a bearing of thirty degrees, detected the transit of a 7000-ton alien ship, designated as Abadan class, from a previously unknown race. Circe was a brown dwarf system with only one other jump point, leading to Scorpia (renamed from Altair), which was picketed by the Battlestar Fenrir, a Valkyrie class on survey operations. Given both entry jump points were covered, it begged the question of how the Abadan entered Circe. Fenrir recalled one of her survey Raptors from Scorpia to begin a resurvey of Circe. Meanwhile the Galactica class Battlestar Pegasus, now with her full complement of Vipers, headed for the Sol – Circe jump point.





A second ship, a 7000-ton Amman class, transited into Sol five days later and set course for the asteroid 1999 OX3, the closest system body to the jump point, at 4426 km/s. Colonial Intelligence classed the Amman as a geological survey ship. A second Amman entered Sol on March 27th. Another new type, the 8000-ton Izmir class, entered Sol on April 3rd, travelling at the concerning speed of 6539 km/s. The Izmir was still on the jump point when the Battlestar Pegasus arrived thirty hours later.

Full communication was established shortly thereafter and the aliens identified themselves as the Church of Khazhar, or more commonly the Khazhari. They were remarkably human in appearance, perhaps suggesting some ancient common ancestry, but were far more ornate in their sartorial choices. Given the name of the civilization, their religion was likely to be critical to their racial identity. Determined to avoid the same situation that developed with the Stave Commonality, the Council of Twelve welcomed the Khazhari to Sol and then requested they leave immediately.

The Church of Khazhar did not respond immediately, instead sending two new ships, designated as Chakai class, into Sol. Colonial Intelligence believed the Chakai was a gravitational survey ship. Eventually, after a few days, their newly appointed ambassador, Jalena Dioquino, accepted the claim of the Twelve Colonies on Sol. Her diplomatic ship was the Izmir class that entered Sol early in the first contact period. The Khazhari appeared to be a much more civilised race than the Stave. Even so, the Battlestar Pegasus would remain on station at the jump point until Circe could be resurveyed.

Over the next few days, all of the Khazhari ships that had entered Sol moved back into Circe and held position on the jump point. On April 24th, a large Khazhari fleet of twelve new ships appeared, moving toward the Circe – Sol jump point at 1703 km/s. The fleet included four new classes, a 17,600-ton Tabriz, a 14,000-ton Basra, a 13,800-ton Dushanbe and a 7000-ton Shiraz, and comprised three ships from each class. The Tabriz had commercial engines but all the rest were military.



The large fleet briefly entered Sol, ignoring Pegasus which had moved back twenty million kilometres from the jump point, and headed in the general direction of the Aeolus jump point for about an hour before reversing course and leaving the system. Ambassador Dioquino apologised for the intrusion.

On June 5th, the resurvey of Circe located a jump point, mid-way between the existing jump points to Sol and Scorpia. A scout Raptor was dispatched from the Battlestar Pegasus, still holding station on the far side of the Sol jump point. As the Raptor approached, it detected a new Khazhari fleet on the jump point, comprising a Basra, Dushanbe, Izmir, three Shiraz and a 68,000 ton Amritsan, which Colonial Intelligence believed was a stabilisation ship. The Khazhari made no attempt to interfere as the Colonial scout transited into Leoben, a planetless system, inhabited only by a sparse scattering of comets and asteroids. This was plainly not the home system of the Church of Khazhar. Once the resurvey of Circe was completed, a survey of Leoben would begin. Five weeks later, an Abadan class entered Scorpia from Circe, probably as a result of a Khazhari survey of Circe. Colonial Intelligence now believed the Abadan was a scout ship.



In mid-August, the process of scrapping the captured Raptoricon, Sauricon and Basilicon ships was completed. The ten Dragonscale freighters and the sole Dragonfire stabilisation ship were all repaired and put into service with the Colonial Fleet. The disassembly of engines from the scrapped ships allowed a breakthrough into Ion Drive technology. Colonial scientists believed the knowledge gained from the Stave brought forward the development of Ion technology by at least two years and perhaps three. The development of new engines was delayed by a few months however though as scrapping and salvage operations also resulted in an improvement in fuel consumption technology and progress toward a further improvement. By completing this work before engine development, the new engines would be 25% more fuel efficient than the existing engines. The two Battlestar shipyards were occupied with new construction and adding slipways so retooling for a new class would not be possible for several months anyway.

Two jump points were discovered in Leoben. The first led to Bellerophon, a red dwarf with six planets but no sign of life. The second was a binary with an orange K3-V primary and a red dwarf companion. The third planet and a moon of the fourth both had oxygen atmospheres, although the atmosphere of the planet appeared to be too thin to support life and the moon had a huge temperature range due to the highly eccentric orbit of its parent superjovian. A Raptor-S from Pegasus headed in-system and almost immediately encountered a large Khazhari fleet. The eight units of the new 21,000-ton Tehran class were the largest warships detected so far. They were accompanied by three 14,000-ton Basras and a pair of 7000-ton Herats, another new type. The fleet was moving at 5000 km/s.

The Raptor continued in-system, detecting eleven Hamadan class ships of 32,000 tons en route, either solo or in small groups, plus a 65,000-ton Bushehr. The probability that this was the Khazhari home system was increasing quickly. That supposition was confirmed when the scout received a demand to leave immediately or be fired upon. The Raptor came about and headed for the jump point, taking a roundabout course to avoid further detection. The system was named Khazhar. A week later, the Khazhari requested that two Raptor-Gs surveying Bellerophon leave as a matter of urgency. Given that Bellerophon was two jumps from the suspected home system, via Leoben, Colonial Fleet Headquarters decided to pull everything beyond the Circe – Leoben jump point back to Circe to avoid any further deterioration in relations with the Church of Khazhar. As the scout that entered the Khazhari home system moved across Leoben toward the Circe jump point, it detected Hamadan and Bushehr class ships moving between the Khazhar and Bellerophon jump points, which suggested at least one colony in the latter system.

Circe was also only two jumps from Khazhar, so it was possible a demand might be issued regarding the ownership of the system, but it was only one jump from Sol so the Colonial Fleet would resist any such demand. In an effort to stem further expansion of the Church of Khazhar, a new colony was founded in Scorpia. This would be expanded over time until the Twelve Colonies could issue a claim on the system. Scorpia was three jumps from Khazhar, so there was likely to be less resistance to the claim, and as Sol was already accepted as Colonial territory, it would block the Church from moving beyond Circe.

Meanwhile, at the far side of known space, Exploration of a jump point in the Leonis system, home to a small Colonial colony, led to a dormant jump point on the outer edge of the Sol system, five billion kilometres from the Sun and approximately a billion kilometres from the Persephone jump point, which was the current route to Leonis. The new discovery shortened the trip to the Leonis colony from twelve to nine billion kilometres.

By November 2302, research into fuel efficiency was completed and development of new engines began. The first visible result was the new Viper MK II, succeeding the MK I after a production run of six hundred and fifty-seven fighters. The new engine gave the Viper MK II a speed of 10,000 km/s, which meant a new and slightly larger fire control was required. The MK II gave up some fuel capacity to accommodate the Hyperion HV-2 Fire Control, but with the greater fuel efficiency of the ZDS-60B Ion Drive the overall range remained the same as the MK I. The first operational squadron for the Viper MK II, Viper Squadron 55 "Black Eagles", was assigned to Battlestar Ares.

Viper MK II class Fighter      300 tons       2 Crew       66.7 BP       TCS 6    TH 60    EM 0
10001 km/s      Armour 1-3       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 1.65
Maint Life 2.96 Years     MSP 35    AFR 60%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 6    5YR 89    Max Repair 30 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.9 days    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-60B Ion Drive (1)    Power 60    Fuel Use 692.82%    Signature 60    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 9,000 Litres    Range 0.78 billion km (21 hours at full power)

Ares Kinetics VC-2 Viper Cannon (1x2)    Range 40,000km     TS: 10,001 km/s     Power 1-1.5     ROF 5       
Hyperion HV-2 Viper Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 10,000 km/s
R-1B Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 1.5    Exp 10%
Artemis-2M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 3     Range 2.1m km    MCR 192.7k km    Resolution 1

On January 6th 2303, the Valkyrie class Battlestars Heimdall and Ragnarök were launched from the Picon Fleet Shipyard. Unlike their predecessors, they would not be used for survey operations. With two alien races close to Earth, one of which was hostile and the other protective over territory, the combat capability of the fleet had to be increased. Both ships were retained at Earth pending a refit to a planned Valkyrie II class that would be similar in speed to the Galactica class and carry two Viper squadrons.

In May 2303, the Church of Khazhar moved beyond Scorpia and was detected in Procyon. The latter system was only two jumps from Sol via Bernard’s Star and part of a loop that included Circe and Scorpia. The closing off of Khazhari access to the rest of Colonial space was becoming more urgent. Meanwhile on Titan, a Colonial xenoarchaeological expedition determined that the ancient construct was a research installation dedicated to research unto defence systems and would increase the effectiveness of Colonial efforts in that field by perhaps seventy percent. It would be a long time before that could be accomplished though due to the extreme conditions on the moon.

The first squadron for a new type of fighter became operational in July 2303. Squadron 57 "Cougars" comprised five Cobra MK Is and was stationed on the Battlestar Ares. The design of the Cobra was a direct result of the high casualties suffered by Viper Squadrons in engagements with the Serpenticon and Reptilicon escort classes. With a speed of 7500 km/s and armed with a single Graystone-Valerii GVB-2-100 Particle Beam, the Cobra MK I was faster than the Stave escorts and able to engage them from outside their own weapon range. If Predatoricon class cruisers were present in a Commonality formation, the Vipers would eliminate them first then withdraw while the Cobras handled the escorts. The Cobra carried sufficient maintenance supplies to repair their particle beam eleven times, allowing for long engagements. To accommodate a single Cobra squadron on each Galactica class Battlestar, the Raptor squadrons were reduced to two Raptor-MB assault transports and a single Raptor-SB scout.

Cobra MK I class Fighter      600 tons       5 Crew       112.9 BP       TCS 12    TH 90    EM 0
7504 km/s      Armour 1-6       Shields 0-0       HTK 4      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 5
Maint Life 3.59 Years     MSP 200    AFR 120%    IFR 1.7%    1YR 24    5YR 359    Max Repair 45.00 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.9 days    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-90B Ion Drive (1)    Power 90.0    Fuel Use 565.69%    Signature 90.00    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 14,000 Litres    Range 0.74 billion km (27 hours at full power)

Graystone-Valerii GVB-2-100 Particle Beam (1)    Range 100,000km     TS: 7,504 km/s     Power 5-2.5    ROF 10       
Hyperion HC-1 Cobra Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 192,000 km   TS: 6,000 km/s     95 90 84 79 74 69 64 58 53 48
R-2B Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 2.5    Exp 10%
Artemis-2M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 3     Range 2.1m km    MCR 192.7k km    Resolution 1

On September 17th, the Galactica class Battlestars Apollo and Pacifica, the ninth and tenth of their class, were completed by the Scorpia Fleet Shipyard. However only fifteen Vipers were available and the joint strikegroups required one hundred and twenty fighters. As the existing Battlestars received Viper MK II squadrons, the Viper MK I squadrons were be assigned to Apollo and Pacifica. The Scorpia Fleet Shipyard began retooling to an upgraded version of the Galactica class.

In December, the Stave Commonality sent two Gryphonicon class survey ships into Aeolus. The jump point picket had been steadily reduced over the previous two years, with the original three Galactica class Battlestars replaced by two of the same class and they in turn replaced by the Battlestar Ragnarok, a newly constructed Valkyrie with two squadrons of Viper MK Is, rather than a survey group. The Valkyries were better suited to long deployments and there had been no Commonality intrusion into Aeolus since January 2302. Viper Squadron 8 "Red Aces", previously of the Battlestar Ares, intercepted and destroyed one ship and forced the other to surrender.

In January 2304, A Raptor-G survey vessel from the Battlestar Jormungandr was reported overdue from surveying Cerberus, a binary system four jumps from Sol via Leonis, Carthage and Sagittaron that had four planets orbiting each star. A second Raptor dispatched to the system discovered a wreck near Cerberus-B IV. Jormungandr and the support vessel Loki entered Cerberus to investigate. The only planet with an outside chance of supporting life was Cerberus-B II, a Mars-sized terrestrial world with a thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, vast ice sheets and a temperature of -132C. The Battlestar no longer carried a Raptor-S scout due to the expansion of the embarked Viper squadron to fifteen fighters. Instead, she had two Raptor-G geological survey vessels and a Raptor-T tanker. Her three Raptor-R gravitational survey vessels were deployed in the nearby systems of Pythia and Theseus.



The Battlestar Jormungandr moved across the system to within fighter range of the second planet, then launched a single Viper two hundred and fifty million from the planet. The Viper was intercepted by an alien ship with a powerful active sensor, travelling at 8487 km/s, which was faster than the Colonial fighter although slower than the new MK II. Jormungandr engaged her active sensor and attempted to move into range of the alien ship, aided by the Viper briefly reversing course to draw it closer. The alien, designated as Watcher class, was 8765 tons. Given the apparent superior technology of the aliens, based on the speed of the Watcher, Jormungandr recalled the fighter and reversed course. A stronger probe force would be required. After the Viper landed, the alien ship broke away and begin to shadow the Battlestar at one hundred and twenty-five million kilometres. A few hours later, a second Watcher was detected by its sensor emissions and then a force of five ships, all approximately 8800 tons, entered active sensor range of Jormungandr at 5640 km/s. Three were designated as Reaper class and the other two as Avenger class.



The alien squadron headed straight for Jormungandr on an intercept course, rapidly overhauling the much slower Battlestar. It was highly unlikely that the fifteen Viper MK Is of Viper Squadron 43 "Black Aces" would be able to engage over forty thousand tons of alien warships, especially as the absence of inbound missiles suggested they were energy-armed, so Colonel Ajax Graystone, commander of the Battlestar Jormungandr, decided to hold the fighters until he could support with his ship’s limited armament of four railguns. He also planned to launch the three unarmed Raptors as decoys.

At two hundred and sixty thousand kilometres, the three Reaper class ships opened fire with lasers, scoring three strength-3 hits on Jormungandr. The enemy was faster with longer-ranged weapons, a very worrying combination. Graystone ordered his fighters to attack and followed them with his ship. The Battlestar opened fire at one hundred and forty thousand kilometres, targeting one of the Avengers. The fighters targeted a Reaper.



The two Avengers were armed with gauss cannon, similar to those of the Colonial Battlestars. As the fighters closed in, four of them were destroyed by the short-range weapons. The remainder scored twenty-one strength-1 hits on the lead Reaper. The Battlestar Jormungandr was struck again by the Reapers, this time suffering eight strength-6 hits that punched several holes in her armour. The Viper pilots attempted to guess the range of the alien gauss cannon and stay out of its envelope but the alien ships were manoeuvring wildly and it was impossible to time their approaches. Within twenty seconds of the first shot being fired, Viper Squadron 43 was wiped out. The Reaper had taken further armour damage, but no internal damage.

Jormungandr staggered under a dozen strength-13 hits, all of which penetrated her armour, and was left dead in space, with all four engines destroyed. The three unarmed Raptors were quickly eliminated by the Avengers. Jormungandr still retained three of her four railguns though and hit an Avenger with eight strength-4 hits, penetrating its armour albeit without any apparent internal damage. The Reapers fired again, this time from point-blank range. Fifteen strength-16 hits turned the 37,500-ton Battlestar into an expanding cloud of debris. The support vessel Loki had watched the engagement from the jump point. She transited into Sagittaron and informed Colonial Fleet Headquarters of the fate of Jormungandr, the first Battlestar lost in combat.

The closest populated colony was in Leonis, three jumps away, so there was no immediate need for a counter attack, especially as improved fighters were slowly becoming available and a refit program was underway. The jump point was picketed and an expedition would be mounted once sufficient refitted ships were available. In the meantime, a small colony was founded on the second planet of Sagittaron, adjacent to Cerberus, partly as a sensor outpost and future forward base but mainly due to the extensive and accessible  mineral deposits. The planet had no air and water, but with a temperature of -13C and a diameter of only 3600 km, it was a reasonable terraforming prospect.

Sagittaron-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   145,800   0.90
Neutronium:   1,920,996   0.40
Corbomite:   2,232,036   0.50
Tritanium:   876,096   0.40
Mercassium:   142,884   0.40
Vendarite:   1,166,400   0.30
Sorium:   352,836   0.80
Uridium:   15,876   0.70
Corundium:   1,454,436   0.60
Gallicite:   2,073,600   0.80

Two years passed without any major incidents. There was no sign of any alien advance from Cerberus and not even any approach to the Sagittaron jump point. Survey ships from the Stave Commonality occasionally transited into Aeolus, but these were quickly eliminated by the jump point picket. Ships from the Church of Khazhar were detected in a couple of systems beyond Scorpia, but the Church made no claim on Circe and there was no sign of any shipping closer to Sol. The Twelve Colonies tried to press a claim on Scorpia in April 2305, but this was rejected by the Khazhari on the basis that there was not a sufficient Colonial presence in the system to support the claim. The only ship construction in the period was the Battlestar Thor, a new Valkyrie II, as the two Battlestar shipyards were primarily focused on refits, aided by planetary-based construction factories that provided most of the new engines.

In March 2306, the first Hermes class Fighter Transport was constructed. The gradual replacement of Battlestar Viper Squadrons with the MK II had resulted in several surplus squadrons equipped with the MK I. The Hermes began transporting these to the colonies in Leonis, Tauron and Scorpia where maintenance facilities were already in place. While the primary function of the Hermes was moving fighter squadrons to colonies, it could be used as an auxiliary carrier in an emergency.

Hermes class Fighter Transport      9,375 tons       155 Crew       1,093.7 BP       TCS 187    TH 750    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 1-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 49      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 6      PPV 0
Maint Life 1.62 Years     MSP 437    AFR 117%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 196    5YR 2,937    Max Repair 375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 4,500 tons     
Major    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 90    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-750 Ion Drive (1)    Power 750    Fuel Use 24.49%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 386,000 Litres    Range 30.3 billion km (87 days at full power)

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Strike Group
15x Viper MK II Fighter   Speed: 10001 km/s    Size: 6

By the end of March 2306, all ten Galactica class Battlestars had been refitted to the Galactica II class. In addition to new engines that increased maximum speed to 4000 km/s, the armour was increased by twelve percent and the railguns were upgraded to a fifteen second rate of fire. Overall fuel capacity was reduced to accommodate some of the changes, although the improved fuel efficiency maintained the overall range. The strikegroup would have less refuelling capability, but with tanker support available and most fighters strikes being made at short range, that was deemed an acceptable compromise. Four of the ten Galacticas had the fully upgraded strikegroup. The others would receive Viper MK II squadrons as they became available.

Galactica II class Battlestar      75,000 tons       1,465 Crew       10,040.6 BP       TCS 1,500    TH 6,000    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 9-158       Shields 0-0       HTK 372      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 53      PPV 149.28
Maint Life 1.94 Years     MSP 4,439    AFR 849%    IFR 11.8%    1YR 1,537    5YR 23,051    Max Repair 375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 24,000 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 480    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-750 Ion Drive (8)    Power 6000    Fuel Use 24.49%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 2,421,000 Litres    Range 23.7 billion km (68 days at full power)

Ares Kinetics AK-20B Railgun (12x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-4     ROF 15       
Ares Kinetics G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turret (4x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0    ROF 5       
Hyperion R256-S4 Beam Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Hyperion R64-S16 Beam Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-16 Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 49    Exp 5%

Artemis-70 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 12960     Range 70.8m km    Resolution 120
Artemis-5M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Themis EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
Themis TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

Strike Group
60x Viper MK II Fighter   Speed: 10001 km/s    Size: 6
5x Cobra MK II Fighter   Speed: 7504 km/s    Size: 11.99
2x Raptor-MB Assault Transport   Speed: 8754 km/s    Size: 19.99
1x Raptor-SB Scout   Speed: 4001 km/s    Size: 19.99

In April, a colony was founded on Aquaria II, three transits from Sol. The Mars-sized planet had an extreme orbit with 0.53 eccentricity and a two hundred degree temperature range, although that was ameliorated due to the tide-locked orbit. There was surface water for part of the orbit, but the atmosphere was nitrogen – carbon dioxide with 0.125 atm of the latter, so substantial terraforming was required. By this point there ten million colonists on Mars and five extra-solar colonies, with ten million settlers in Leonis, four million in Scorpia and approximately one million each in Sagittaron, Tauron and Aquaria.

Aquaria-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   11,290,748   0.50
Neutronium:   8,928,135   1.00
Corbomite:   11,209,103   0.10
Tritanium:   5,645,375   0.10
Boronide:   3,779,135   0.10
Mercassium:   3,239,991   1.00
Vendarite:   4,822,411   0.60
Sorium:   1,774,223   0.10
Uridium:   876,095   0.10
Corundium:   11,943,931   0.60
Gallicite:   11,209,103   0.10

In early October 2306, a new alien race was detected in Pandora, a brown dwarf system six transits from Sol and two from the Sagittaron colony, via Pythia. Active sensor emissions from an alien ship, designated as Sphinx class, were detected by Aeolus, a Poseidon class Troop Transport that had just collected a geological survey expedition from a moon of the second planet. The Sphinx was in orbit of the first planet. A survey Raptor from the Battlestar Fenrir, stationed in Pythia, was also in the system, conducting a gravitational survey that had already detected two new jump points. A Raptor-GB was en route to the system from Fenrir to probe those jump points.



The Colonial troop transport left orbit and transited into Pythia, en route to the Sagittaron colony. On the Pythia - Pandora jump point, the transport detected two more alien ships: a 8813-ton Gargoyle and a 6887-ton Hydra. The aliens were only a single jump from the Sagittaron colony, which was defended solely by the surface-to-orbit weapons of a Colonial Marine Regiment, although the Battlestar Fenrir lay between the alien ships and Sagittaron and could contribute its single Viper squadron. The Battlestars Ares and Columbia, both of which had strikegroups with Viper MK IIs and Cobra MK IIs, were ordered to Sagittaron. The Cobra MK II was identical to the MK I except for an upgraded particle beam with a 150,000 kilometre range. For the moment, the troop transport remained near the Pythia – Pandora jump point as a picket.

The geosurvey Raptor from Fenrir entered Pandora then transited the outer of the two unexplored jump points and discovered Troy, a red dwarf binary with a terrestrial world and a gas giant orbiting the primary. The rocky planet had a breathable atmosphere but no surface water. The Raptor headed in-system to investigate. Meanwhile in Pythia, the Pandora aliens attempted to establish communication via the Gargoyle. No progress was made. On October 11th, eight days after first contact, a second Sphinx was detected as it transited into Pythia.

While events were underway in Pandora and Pythia, a geological survey Raptor from the Battlestar Kraken had probed a jump point in Marathon, five transits from Sol via Leonis, Carthage, Megara and Artemis. The Raptor found itself four billion kilometres from an orange K0-V star with three terrestrial planets, two of which had nitrogen – oxygen atmospheres. Based on the pre-agreed nomenclature for new discoveries, the system was named Talos. Talos II was a large ocean world, over sixteen thousand kilometres in diameter and with less than one percent of the surface above water; mainly rainforest-covered mountainous islands. The surface temperature was 32C, while the dense atmosphere of 1.95 atm included 0.71 atm of oxygen, which was far too high for humans.

Talos I was almost a twin of Earth. It was marginally larger, at 12,800 km, and the surface temperature was slightly higher at 14.8C. The oceans were more dominant, covering ninety percent of the surface, while the atmosphere was thinner, at 0.56 atm and had 0.094 atm of oxygen. Even so, with the addition of just 0.006 atm of oxygen, Talos I would be an ideal habitable world. The Raptor headed in-system to conduct a survey. On October 15th it detected an alien population on Talos I. The Raptor was only equipped with an active sensor so it discovered the population via a 42,000-ton ground forces signature. There was no sign of ships or any orbital infrastructure.

The Battlestar Kraken was three jumps away in Megara, but due to the loss of the Battlestar Jormungandr in Cerberus, the Colonial Fleet had introduced a policy that Battlestars did not approach potentially hostile worlds without a full reconnaissance mission. Instead, a scout Raptor was dispatched from Earth. Fortunately, the new race was on the fringe of the known space, five transits from the closest colonies, Leonis and Sagittaron. With a focus on the new alien race near Sagittaron, the alien race in Talos and the hostile but apparently quiescent race in Cerberus were secondary priorities.



Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2022, 05:39:28 AM »
In November 2306, a Raptor-G from the Battlestar Fenrir explored a second jump point in Pandora and discovered Caprica, a system with a white A0-V star three times the mass of Sol and eighty times the luminosity, orbited by twelve planets and a hundred moons. The fourth, fifth and sixth planets all had nitrogen – oxygen atmospheres. Caprica IV was an Earth-sized ocean world with gravity of 1.03G, an atmosphere of 1.09 atm, including 0.12 atm of oxygen, minimal eccentricity and a surface temperature of 30C. The removal of 0.02 atm of sulphur dioxide would make this an ideal habitable world.

Caprica V was a cold, Mars-sized world at -47C, dominated by Taiga and with a quarter of its surface covered in ice sheets. The atmosphere of 0.51 atm included 0.092 atm of oxygen and was close to breathable. However, the planet was at its farthest distance from the primary and with an eccentricity of 0.18 it would reach 9C at perihelion. It was an excellent terraforming prospect, although the temperature range meant that a small of amount of infrastructure would always be required. Caprica VI was similar to Caprica V in terms of surface ice and environmental conditions, although the atmosphere was only 0.186 atm.



Shortly after the discovery of Caprica, full communication with the aliens that were first encountered in Pandora was established. They identified themselves as the Kogari Dominion. The Kogari were shorter than humans and hunched forward as if they could switch between bipedal and quadrupedal as desired. Their heads were elongated and vaguely raptor-like, although their facial features were unknown apart from eyes on either side of their heads because they wore close-fitting armour with several odd protuberances. Apart from the initial contact, the Kogari were brief in their communications and seemed content to mostly ignore the Colonial ships.

The location of the Kogari Dominion home world was unknown, but identifying that location was the first priority of Survey Command. A potential candidate in the Troy system, adjacent to Pandora, had been ruled out so the focus changed to Caprica. The Raptor-G from Fenrir that discovered the system headed for the fourth planet, the closest of the potentially inhabited worlds. As it approached, it detected inbound missiles and was destroyed shortly thereafter. A scout Raptor was sent into the system to identify the assailants and detected six ships from the Cerberus aliens, now commonly referred to simply as the Cerberus by Colonial personnel, in orbit of Cerberus IV. All six ships were of different classes, with three approximately 17,500 tons and the others 8800. Moments later, two more ships of another new class were detected but only from their sensor emissions, which suggested they were smaller than the Raptor’s sensor resolution. As the scout turned for the jump point, it was destroyed by a dozen missiles with strength-6 warheads.



The gravitational survey of Pandora was completed in mid-December. Six jump points were discovered in total, including the entry point from Pythia and the two already explored jump points that led to Troy and Caprica. The other three led to Apollo, Archimedes and Zephyrus. The latter was an unremarkable brown dwarf system. Apollo had an K6-V primary and four planets, one of which had a breathable atmosphere and was completely covered by an ice sheet. The temperature of -87C made it an unlikely home world candidate and a geological survey confirmed it was devoid of both Kogari colonies and mineral deposits.

Archimedes was an unremarkable collection of planets, moons and asteroids, but was notable for two reasons. The first was Archimedes II, a large terrestrial world with an atmosphere of nitrogen and CO2, that had over eighty million tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium, along with five other deposits at minimal accessibility. The second was a stabilised jump point to Pandora, which suggested that the Kogari home world could lie somewhere beyond Archimedes. On March 1st 2307, that theory was reinforced by a new class of Kogari ship entering Pandora from Archimedes.

Archimedes-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   81,510,912   1.00
Corbomite:   26,708,224   0.20
Tritanium:   34,245,904   0.20
Mercassium:   3,326,976   0.10
Corundium:   5,914,624   0.10
Gallicite:   49,956,624   0.10

Given the number of jump points in Pandora, the presence of the Kogari Dominion somewhere beyond it and the fact it lay at the end of a jump chain that included the key colonies of Sagittaron and Leonis, the Council of Twelve decided to establish a new colony and military base in the system. The system primary was a brown dwarf, orbited by two planets. Pandora I was a tide-locked dwarf planet with a gravity of 0.11G, a surface temperature of -195C and no atmosphere or water. Even so, it was the best option. Pandora II was a gas giant with forty-eight moons, all of which were colder than Pandora I and lacked the more temperate zone provided by tide-locking. The first infrastructure and colonists arrived on April 1st 2307.

Meanwhile, an investigation of another alien race was underway in the Talos system, six transits from Sol via Leonis, Carthage, Megara, Artemis and Marathon. Talos I was an Earth-like planet where a survey Raptor had detected a ground forces contact but did not have the necessary passive sensors to detect a population. In December 2306, a scout Raptor arrived in orbit of the planet and detected a population with a thermal signature of 4,440 and an EM signature of 44,400. Such a wide disparity suggested a large population but no installations. Given the absence of any ships or orbital infrastructure, it was potentially a pre-industrial civilization.

In January 2307, an Armistice class diplomatic station was towed to Talos but there was no response to communication attempts, perhaps because the population lacked the technology to receive the message. While the diplomatic efforts were underway, the geological survey of Talos I was completed, revealing accessible deposits of all eleven minerals, including over a million tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium.

Talos I Survey Report
Duranium:   1,164,600   1.00
Neutronium:   203,400   0.90
Corbomite:   261,600   1.00
Tritanium:   527,700   0.70
Boronide:   219,000   0.70
Mercassium:   462,600   1.00
Vendarite:   440,700   0.70
Sorium:   1,183,050   0.60
Uridium:   241,500   0.40
Corundium:   234,900   0.50
Gallicite:   297,900   0.60

On the military front, all Valkyrie class Battlestars had been updated to the Valkyrie II design and a ninth unit of the class, Baldur, had been completed. The Valkyrie II had faster-firing railguns, an increase in armour thickness and new engines. The original design had slow but efficient gas core engines, but the new ZDS-750 Ion Drives were the same model used for the Galactica II class. This resulted in a substantial reduction in range but the deployment time was only reduced from thirty-six to thirty months as the Valkyrie II was intended for both survey duties and frontier deployments. Five of the Valkyrie IIs were operating with survey Raptors and four with combat strikegroups.

Valkyrie II class Battlestar      37,500 tons       743 Crew       5,014.3 BP       TCS 750    TH 3,000    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 5-99       Shields 0-0       HTK 210      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 33      PPV 60.64
Maint Life 2.55 Years     MSP 2,762    AFR 341%    IFR 4.7%    1YR 594    5YR 8,914    Max Repair 375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 12,000 tons     
Colonel    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 30 months    Flight Crew Berths 240    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-750 Ion Drive (4)    Power 3000    Fuel Use 24.49%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,477,000 Litres    Range 28.9 billion km (83 days at full power)

Ares Kinetics AK-20B Railgun (4x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Ares Kinetics G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turret (2x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Hyperion R256-S4 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Hyperion R64-S16 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-8 Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 16.6    Exp 5%

Artemis-60 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 10080     Range 62.5m km    Resolution 120
Artemis-5M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Themis EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
Themis TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

Survey Group
15x Viper MK II Fighter   Speed: 10001 km/s    Size: 6
1x Raptor-T Tanker   Speed: 3201 km/s    Size: 19.99
1x Cobra MK I Fighter   Speed: 7504 km/s    Size: 11.99
3x Raptor-GB Geological Survey Craft   Speed: 2801 km/s    Size: 19.99
3x Raptor-RB Gravitational Survey Craft   Speed: 2801 km/s    Size: 19.99

In September 2307, an exploration of a newly discovered jump point in Talos revealed a dormant jump point in Circe, a system adjacent to Sol that was also the contact point with the Church of Khazhar. Neither the Twelve Colonies nor the Khazhari had claimed Circe, as it was a planetless brown dwarf, which meant the Khazhari had an open path to the presumed pre-industrial race in Talos. However, the new jump point was three hundred million kilometres from the from other jump points in Circe so it was possible the Khazhari would not detect it via monitoring Colonial traffic. Even so, the Council of Twelve ordered a new colony on Talos I to provide a claim on the system. The freighters and colony ships would use the Circe route as it was much shorter than the original route of six transits.

In Pandora, a group of three Kogari Dominion ships were detected entering from the Archimedes jump point and taking up station on the Troy jump point. The largest was a 68,000-ton commercial-engined vessel with a strength-1600 thermal signature that was designated as Djinn class. It was escorted by two ships of 17,300 tons designated as Gryphon and Wyvern classes. Colonial Intelligence believed this was a stabilisation ship and escorts and its origin point in Archimedes gave further credence to the theory that Archimedes was the route to the Kogari home world.

In November 2307, two squadrons of Viper MK Is and a new space station designated as a Fighter Base class were deployed to the rapidly-growing Pandora colony, which had a population of just under two million.

Fighter Base class Space Station      29,141 tons       298 Crew       734.2 BP       TCS 583    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 49      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 2,515    Max Repair 100 MSP
Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 1   
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Maintenance Modules: 5 module(s) capable of supporting ships of 10,000 tons

Fuel Capacity 2,000,000 Litres    Range N/A
Refuelling Capability: 50,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 40 hours

Artemis-20N Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 23.6m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

After the destruction of the Battlestar Jormungandr in 2304, her three surviving Raptors, all gravitational survey craft, remained in service, operating from the colonies of Leonis and Sagittaron and contributing to the exploration of the systems beyond Pandora’s five outward jump points. Their main focus was on Archimedes. Two outward jump points were discovered, leading to Psyche and Hecuba, neither of which contained any habitable planets. A subsequent survey of Hecuba revealed a further two jump points, connecting to Arethusa, a planetless red dwarf, and Phaedra, which a Jormungandr Raptor probed on December 3rd 2307. The system itself was unremarkable, a red dwarf with six planets, the first of which was a super-terrestrial world with a dense nitrogen-ammonia atmosphere.

Of far more interest was the wreckage of twenty ships, most near the Hecuba jump point but a few near the centre of the system. Thirteen were known Dominion classes, a Djinn stabilisation ship, three Sphinx class scouts and nine 17,300-ton wrecks of the Gryphon and Wyvern classes. The other seven were unknown, but seemed to comprise three different sizes between 8650 tons and 17,600 tons. The Raptor transited back into Hecuba, from where it could report the wrecks via the stable jump network, then returned to Phaedra to begin a survey. Two Colonial salvage ships were immediately dispatched from Sol to Pandora, along with two freighters and the Battlestar Ragnarok as escort. Two Galactica class Battlestars were already forward deployed at Sagittaron in response to the original encounter with the Kogari Dominion so these could be used to escort a mission into Phaedra if necessary, although for the moment there was no stabilised jump point on the Phaedra side.

By April 2308, two further jump points had been discovered in Talos. The first led to Styx, an unremarkable brown dwarf system. The second complicated the galactic map considerably by connecting to a dormant jump point in Pandora. While this new connection shortened the distance to Pandora, as ships could move from Sol via Circe and Talos, it brought the Kogari Dominion within a single transit of the pre-industrial population on Talos I, which was already facing a potential threat from the Church of Khazhar. The two alien races were now just two transits apart and could potentially meet in Talos if each discovered the new jump points in Circe and Pandora.

By this point, the colony in Pandora had a population of two point seven million and the Talos colony was at one point seven million. No territorial claims had been made by any side. The Council of Twelve was concerned that Talos could provide the spark for conflict between the Twelve Colonies and either the Kogari Dominion or the Church of Khazhar, or potentially between the two alien races, as each strove to exploit the mineral deposits and large alien population on Talos I. Therefore, the Council gave the order to secure the alien population once sufficient ground forces were in place.

A Raptor-S scout, en route to Phaedra to conduct a sweep of the inner system, encountered a large Kogari fleet stationed on the Archimedes – Hecuba jump point, comprising two Gryphons, two Wyverns and eight of a new 56,000-ton Basilisk class. Fleet is on Hecuba jump point. The scout travelled across Hecuba and transited into Phaedra, where it detected the wreck of the Jormungandr Raptor and four ships of the Cerberus close to the jump point; a Retribution of 17,600 tons and three different classes at 8800-tons. The scout narrowly escaped a subsequent missile attack and took up station on the Hecuba – Phaedra jump point. This was the third system in which the Cerberus aliens have been detected.

Two weeks later, a fleet of Kogari warships arrived at the Hecuba – Phaedra jump point, comprising a Wyvern, three Gryphon, four Orcs and two of a new type designated as Dragon class. A few days after their arrival, the Kogari politely asked the scout to leave Hecuba as it was within their territory. This was the first real confirmation that the Dominion home world lay somewhere beyond the Pandora – Archimedes jump point. The Raptor-S retreated into Archimedes, but a few days later was asked to leave that system too. The territory claimed by the Kogari Dominion was now just one transit from the Pandora colony.

On April 19th 2308, the first twelve Raptor-A class Corvettes were launched from Cepheus Shipyard in Earth orbit. The Raptor-A was an experimental design with eighteen box launchers, providing the Colonial Fleet with a limited missile capability. The Theseus Anti-ship Missile had a range of thirteen million kilometres, which was far less than the demonstrated range of Cerberus missiles, and a speed of 31,250 km/s. The performance of the Raptor-A in combat would determine the level of further investment in missile technology.

Raptor-A class Corvette      1,000 tons       10 Crew       142.5 BP       TCS 20    TH 150    EM 0
7503 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 10.8
Maint Life 3.44 Years     MSP 47    AFR 32%    IFR 0.4%    1YR 6    5YR 91    Max Repair 75 MSP
Magazine 72   
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 1 month    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-150B Ion Drive (1)    Power 150    Fuel Use 438.18%    Signature 150    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 65,000 Litres    Range 2.7 billion km (4 days at full power)

Missile Box Launcher (18)     Missile Size: 4    Hangar Reload 100 minutes    MF Reload 16 hours
Graystone GFC-20B Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 19.9m km    Resolution 120
Theseus Anti-ship Missile (18)    Speed: 31,250 km/s    Range: 13.4m km    WH: 6    Size: 4    TH: 104/62/31
Artemis-17B Active Sensor (1)     GPS 576     Range 17.2m km    Resolution 120

In May 2308, the Colonial Fleet began an operation to secure Talos I, commonly referred to as Talos Prime. The primary goal was to protect the alien population from any interference by the Kogari Dominion or the Church of Khazhar. Nine Colonial Marine regiments were in place, out of a total of twenty-two, all of which had three Colonial Marine battalions and seven of which had their attached Planetary Defence battalions. The alien ground forces numbered in the tens of thousands but were only equipped with very primitive weapons, similar to 18th century muskets. They attempted to fight, but the battle was a complete rout. After three days of conflict, the alien population ceased all resistance.

Communication was established shortly thereafter. The inhabitants were long-necked humanoid amphibians with large black eyes and their total population was close to nine hundred million. The name of their species was unpronounceable for humans, so they became known as the Talosians. There was considerable resentment following the invasion, especially as the Talosians considered themselves to be great warriors, but civilian casualties had been minimal and the population would soon benefit from a much higher level of technology. The Council of Twelve believed that they would be assimilated into the Twelve Colonies within a few years.

On June 19th 2308, an Abadan class scout from the Church of Khazhar entered Talos via the Circe jump point, apparently having detected the new jump point by monitoring Colonial shipping traffic. The ship was asked to leave as the Twelve Colonies now claimed the Talos system. Within a few days, the Khazhari accepted the Colonial claim and left Talos. Two weeks later, the Kogari Dominion was asked to vacate Pandora as it was the site of a significant Colonial population of three point six million. The Kogari accepted Colonial sovereignty and departed the system shortly thereafter. The key systems of Talos and Pandora were now secure for the moment, although fleet elements would be assigned to both systems.

In early July, the first major naval combat operation since the Commonality War began in Sagittaron. With the increasing number of known alien races, and the associated geopolitical complexities, the Council of Twelve wished to decrease the number of actual and potential threats. As the recent agreements with the Kogari Dominion and the Church of Khazhar had secured the frontiers, at least for the moment, an expeditionary force of four Galactica class Battlestars was ordered to launch an operation into Cerberus to attack the alien force that destroyed the Battlestar Jormungandr. This would eliminate a threat adjacent to the Sagittaron colony and the key jump chain on which it was located. The Battlestars were accompanied by both Hermes class fighter transports, each carrying four missile-armed Raptor-As and a pair of Asp scout fighters.

Expeditionary Force
Galactica II class Battlestar: Ares, Athena, Atlantia, Columbia
Hermes class Fighter Transport: Hermes, Maia
8x Raptor-A class Corvette
8x Raptor-MB class Assault Transport
2x Raptor-SB class Scout
2x Raptor-SC class Scout
20x Cobra MK II class Fighter
240x Viper MK II class Fighter
4x Asp MK I class Fighter

Asp MK I class Fighter      200 tons       1 Crew       50.4 BP       TCS 4    TH 60    EM 0
15021 km/s      Armour 1-3       Shields 0-0       HTK 2      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.36 Years     MSP 25    AFR 40%    IFR 0.6%    1YR 6    5YR 92    Max Repair 30 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.9 days    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-60B Ion Drive (1)    Power 60    Fuel Use 692.82%    Signature 60    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 10,000 Litres    Range 1.3 billion km (24 hours at full power)
Artemis-30NB Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1920     Range 31.5m km    Resolution 120

The Expeditionary Fleet moved to a position four hundred and eight million kilometres from Cerberus-B, a K4-V star with four planets, and dispatched an Asp fighter to sweep inner system. Just over thirty million kilometres from Cerberus-B II, the Asp detected a large alien fleet. The five 8800-ton ships that attacked Jormungandr, two Avengers and three Reapers, were all present, but they were accompanied by five new ships; three 26,400-ton Annihilators and two 17,600-ton Conquerors. The alien fleet was moving at 5636 km/s.



The Expeditionary Force was led by Commander Leto Medea of the Battlestar Columbia, a veteran of the Battle of Uranus. He ordered the Asp to shadow the alien fleet at a distance of twenty-five million kilometres, then launched a second Asp to swing around it and investigate Cerberus-B III, which had been deemed the most likely origin point due to its thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and limited surface water. The alien warships pursued the shadowing fighter so it attempted to draw them away from the advance of the Expeditionary Force. As the aliens could plainly detect the Asp but were not firing missiles, they were apparently energy-armed. Given the firepower of the small Reapers, each of which was armed with five 25cm lasers, the damage potential of the larger warships was of serious concern. The second Asp manoeuvred around the alien fleet, drawing its attention, then moved into sensor range of the third planet. A new and larger alien force was detected that included several new classes:

9x Forager 57,250 tons
1x Abomination 17,800 tons
3x Retribution 17,600 tons
2x Vindicator 17,500 tons
2x Enforcer 17,500 tons
3x Intimidator 17,400 tons
1x Terror 17,400 tons
2x Avenger 8,800 tons



Commander Medea recalled the first Asp, which was low on fuel, and ordered the second Asp to pull back and try to lead the smaller fleet toward the Expeditionary Force. All four Battlestars shut down their active sensors to avoid detection until the alien fleet was too close to escape. Given the scale of the alien forces in the system, Medea hoped to fight the two alien fleet separately and defeat them in detail. The attempt to ‘hide’ the Battlestars proved unsuccessful as a Cerberus Watcher class scout was detected closing on their position. Viper Squadron 55 “Black Eagles” was dispatched to intercept. The Watcher had a speed speed of 8487 km/s, which was faster than the Viper MK I, but Viper Squadron 55 was equipped with the Viper MK II with a maximum speed of 10,000 km/s. Even though the Expeditionary Force had been detected, the alien fleet continued to pursue the Asp, with a second Watcher moving in to shadow the Asp at close range.



The Viper squadron intercepted the Watcher and destroyed it in three volleys then returned to refuel. As the alien ships were faster than the Battlestars, a ship-to-ship engagement would only be possible with their cooperation. Even if they did engage, their laser weapons were powerful and had the potential to inflict serious damage. Therefore Commander Medea decided to conduct a long-range strike. When the range from the Expeditionary Force to the approaching Cerberus fleet fell to two hundred million kilometres, the Battlestars launched all their fighters, comprising two hundred and forty Viper MK IIs and twenty Cobra MK IIs. The two Hermes class fighter transports launched their eight missile-armed Raptor-As.

The Raptors moved into range first and fired one hundred and forty-four Theseus missiles at the two Conqueror class ships. As the missiles approached, the Cerberus fleet turned perpendicular to its previous course. Eighty-three missiles were hit by energy-based point defence, which was concerning for the survival of Vipers in close combat. Thirty-four of the remaining missiles struck one of the Conquerors missiles with strength-4 warheads, seven of which penetrated armour. The damaged ship was reduced to 4231 km/s. The remaining ships reversed course and began to run. Sensor readings of the attack showed that the Conqueror was armed with seven gauss cannon turrets with eight shots per turret, making them extremely dangerous. The two ships of the previously encountered Avenger class had three gauss cannon turrets each. The inbound Viper squadrons were ordered to target the undamaged Conqueror and the two Avenger class escorts first.

The Cobra Squadrons were detached to deal with the damaged Conqueror while the Viper squadrons moved past the main body and then turn to engage head on. In response, the aliens reversed course away from the inner system and continued to run. Commander Medea ordered the fighters to hold the range open and shadow the aliens while his four Battlestars advanced in an effort to force the alien ships back toward his fighters. A head-on approach would result in fewer fighter losses than a stern chase.



As the main body fled from the fighters, running toward the distant Battlestars, the twenty Cobra MK Is closed on the Conqueror damaged by the missile attack. Their particle beam armament was intended for this exact situation, attacking a hostile escort class from outside its weapon range. They held a relative position at 80,000 km and opened fire. Six volleys later, the Conqueror was wreckage. The Cobras headed back to the Battlestars, as Medea did not want to lose them in combat against ships that out-ranged them. The Cerberus main body continued running from the Vipers and did not seem deterred by the approaching Battlestars, which were advertising their presence with active sensors.



While Commander Medea was using his Battlestars in an attempt to reverse the course of the alien warships, he wished to avoid a major ship to ship engagement. The three 8800-ton Reapers were known to be armed with five powerful lasers and the Annihilator class was three times as large. It was possible the alien fleet might have sixty lasers or more, which would cause serious damage even to a Galactica class Battlestar. Therefore, with reluctance, he gave the order for the Viper Squadrons to close and attack. They moved in from astern, with a 4365 km/s speed advantage.

The first Cerberus defensive fire was at 318,000 km from their targets, far outside the 40,000 kilometre weapon range of the Vipers. The Annihilators proved to be very powerful energy combatants, armed with nineteen of the same 25cm lasers as the Reapers, plus a single 37.5cm laser. Fortunately, none of the seventy-five laser shots hit their fast-moving targets. The Cerberus aliens fired again at 231,000 km, this time killing five Vipers, every one of which suffered a secondary explosion. Suddenly, the nine alien ships reversed course and headed straight for the Vipers. The Vipers charged in at full speed, trying to get to point blank range. There was a sudden and intensely violent exchange of fire, with more than five hundred energy impacts registering within a few seconds. Seven Vipers were hit and destroyed by the gauss cannon of the Conqueror and two Avengers, but one of the Avengers was destroyed in response. The lasers of the Annihilators and Reapers were still recharging.



The Conqueror and surviving Avenger fired again and were joined by the rest of the fleet. Eleven more Vipers died, but their massed fire obliterated both escort warships. Each of the three Annihilators was then targeted by a full strikegroup of four squadrons, totalling sixty Viper MK IIs, while the Ares Strikegroup, which had taken all of the losses so far, went after the Reapers. Fifteen seconds after the targeting change, the depleted Ares strikegroup destroyed a Reaper, while the Columbia strikegroup had inflicted enough damage on an Annihilator to slow it down and force it out of the fleet. The alien weapons recharged and fired again, destroying five Vipers, but the aliens were now in serious trouble. Two Annihilators exploded, followed ten seconds later by the third. The remaining two Reapers lasted another five seconds.

The heroic Viper pilots had obliterated almost double their own tonnage in less than a minute in a battle against a higher tech opponent while losing only twenty-eight fighters, approximately twelve percent of their number. In comparison, the cost of the missiles that damaged a single Conqueror earlier in the battle was equal to ten Viper MK IIs. All the Cobra and Viper fighters returned to the Battlestars, which remained on station, ready to cover salvage operations, while the two fighter transports headed back to Sol.

In late October, the two Hermes class fighter transports returned from Sol with twenty-eight Viper MK II-Bs, a slightly upgraded version of the MK II with improved sensors and greater range, that would make up the losses of the expeditionary force. By this point, salvaging of the wrecks in the system, including the Jormungandr, was well underway, with all four Colonial salvage ship involved. An Asp was dispatched on a scouting run into the inner system of the B component and found the same ships in orbit as before.



On November 11th 2308, a troop transport carrying two Xenoarchaeological expeditions transited into Pericles, a binary system with five planets that was discovered in June 2306. A geological survey had revealed little in the way of usable mineral deposits but discovered a destroyed alien outpost that was the destination of the transport. The system was four transits from Earth via Leonis, Ariadne and Cepheus and lay in a chain of six unremarkable system beyond the seldom-used Leonis – Ariadne jump point. As the transport transited into Pericles, it detected three alien ships of an unknown race stationed on the jump point. The largest was a Tribune class of 73,000 tons that was equipped with commercial engines, possibly a stabilisation ship. It was escorted by two military vessels: an Aquila class of 12,873 tons and a Corvus class of 6,446 tons. The aliens hailed the transport and seemed willing to attempt communications.



The Twelve Colonies had now encountered seven alien races, four of which had proved hostile. The hostiles included the Stave Commonality, which had laid claim to Sol, the Cerberus, which attacked any ship that entered their territory but did not seem to venture out of those systems, the Raiders, which had been encountered in the early years of interstellar exploration, and the Talosians, which initially resisted the well-intentioned attempts of the Twelve Colonies to protect them from aliens. The neutral races included the Church of Khazhar, which claimed territory beyond the Circe – Leoben jump point, the Kogari Dominion, which claimed territory beyond the Pandora – Archimedes jump point and now the new aliens in Pericles.

A jump tender transited into Pericles to continue communications attempts with the new aliens, allowing the troop transport to move to the site of the destroyed alien outpost on Pericles-A III. It detected a large alien force in orbit, comprising four 77,229-ton Senator class ships, along with six more Aquilas, two more Corvus and a small 4000-ton Consul class, plus a ground forces signature on the planet. It appeared the aliens were also interested in the destroyed outpost.



Two weeks after first contact with the Pericles aliens, the Battlestar Asgard was launched, the first in a new class constructed in the Picon Fleet Shipyard, which had previously built the Valkyrie II. The Asgard was twenty-five percent larger than the preceding Valkyrie II class, with hangar space increased in line with hull space. The class was armed with eight newly-developed 25cm railguns with a 250,000 km range, replacing the four 20cm railguns with a 160,000 km range on the Valkyrie, while retaining the pair of G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turrets. Armour was increased by forty percent and the sensors, based on recently improved technology, were superior to the larger Galactica class.

The range and endurance were reduced to twelve months deployment and two years maintenance life, in line with the Asgard’s intended role as a pure warship, rather than the hybrid role of the Valkyrie. The strikegroup retained the two Viper squadrons and two assault transports of the later Valkyries and gained six Cobras and two Asps in exchange for the single Raptor-S of the older design. The Asgard mounted eight box launchers for sensor drones in order to preserve the Asps for more critical scouting missions. The Battlestar Asgard was dispatched to Cerberus, along with the Galactica class Battlestar Solaris, to reinforce the Expeditionary Force. With a new alien race on the scene, the Council of Twelve was eager to resolve the situation in that system and secure the Cerberus planet.

Asgard class Battlestar      46,875 tons       963 Crew       6,383.6 BP       TCS 937    TH 3,750    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 6-115       Shields 0-0       HTK 246      Sensors 12/16/0/0      DCR 34      PPV 101.44
Maint Life 2.05 Years     MSP 2,898    AFR 517%    IFR 7.2%    1YR 918    5YR 13,773    Max Repair 375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 15,000 tons     Magazine 32    Cryogenic Berths 400   
Colonel    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 300    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-750 Ion Drive (5)    Power 3750    Fuel Use 24.49%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,538,000 Litres    Range 24.1 billion km (69 days at full power)

Ares Kinetics AK-25 Railgun (8x4)    Range 250,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 15-3.75     ROF 20       
Ares Kinetics G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turret (2x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Hyperion R256-S4 Beam Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Hyperion R64-S16 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-15 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 30.9    Exp 5%

Missile Box Launcher (8)     Missile Size: 4    Hangar Reload 100 minutes    MF Reload 16 hours
Graystone GFC-25 Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 25.9m km    Resolution 120
Active Sensor Drone (4)    Speed: 6,250 km/s    End: 6.9d     Range: 3,750m km    WH: 0    Size: 4    TH: 20/12/6
Passive Sensor Drone (4)    Speed: 6,250 km/s    End: 6.9d     Range: 3,750m km    WH: 0    Size: 4    TH: 20/12/6

Artemis-80B Active Sensor (1)     GPS 13440     Range 83.3m km    Resolution 120
Artemis-6MB Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 574.5k km    Resolution 1
Themis EM-16B Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 16     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  31.6m km
Themis TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

Strike Group
30x Viper MK II Fighter   Speed: 10001 km/s    Size: 6
6x Cobra MK II Fighter   Speed: 7504 km/s    Size: 11.99
2x Raptor-MB Assault Transport   Speed: 8754 km/s    Size: 19.99
2x Asp MK I Fighter   Speed: 15021 km/s    Size: 3.99

The Battlestars Solaris and Asgard joined the Expeditionary Force in Cerberus on January 7th. The entire force set course for Cerberus-B III where a second alien fleet awaited them.

Expeditionary Force
Galactica II class Battlestar: Ares, Athena, Atlantia, Columbia, Solaris
Asgard class Battlestar: Asgard
12x Raptor-MB class Assault Transport:
2x Raptor-SB class Scout
3x Raptor-SC class Scout
31x Cobra MK II class Fighter
30x Viper MK I class Fighter
272x Viper MK II class Fighter
28x Viper MK II-B class Fighter
2x Asp MK I class Fighter

Forty-six million kilometres from the planet, an inbound wave of seventy-six size-4 missiles was detected. All the Battlestars launched their Vipers, which took up defensive positions around their motherships. Every missile was shot down by a combination of gauss cannon, Viper cannon and railguns. Five further waves arrived at intervals of four minutes and met the same fate as the first. At fourteen million kilometres, a new attack was detected, this time from a wave of sixty-three missiles that comprised seven salvos of nine missiles each. Once again, all were shot down by the Battlestars and their Viper escort. Another wave of seventy-six in a single salvo arrived shortly afterwards, still without any success. The identity of the ship launching the large missile waves was unknown, but given the size of the waves and the long interval between them, it appeared to be a ship armed with slow-firing but compact launchers, allowing large but infrequent salvos.

At six point four million kilometres, seven new ships of 979 tons, designated as Punisher class, were detected. They seemed to be a likely candidate for the wave of missiles that included seven separate salvos, which indicated a similar design to the Raptor-A missile corvette. A ground forces signature of 45,000 tons was also detected, which suggested a much larger force given it was likely to be fortified.



When the Expeditionary Force moved within two point five million kilometres of Cerberus-B III, an inbound wave of two hundred and sixty-five size-1 missiles was detected moving at almost 70,000 km/s, followed by a second wave a few seconds behind and another wave of seventy-six larger missiles. Commander Medea immediately gave the order to reverse course and retreat.



The Battlestars and the massed Viper squadrons destroyed one hundred and twenty-four missiles. The Battlestar Ares was struck by the other one hundred and forty-one. The subsequent wave inflicted even more damage as the railguns recharged. Ares suffered one hundred and sixty hits from the second wave and one hundred and seventy-three from the third, badly damaging her formidable armour. Fortunately, the lone seventy-six missile salvo arrived between waves of the faster missiles and did not penetrate the Colonial defences.

Unfortunately, a momentary lack of coordination between the Battlestars and their strikegroups placed them twenty thousand kilometres apart as a fourth wave of size-1 missiles arrived. The Battlestar Ares received one hundred and eighty-nine hits, four of which penetrated her armour and damaged her hangar bays. A fifth wave followed close behind, but was targeted on the Battlestar Athena. One hundred and sixty-four hits only scarred her armour compared to the devastation that would have been inflicted on Ares. Fortunately, that was the last wave. Commander Medea’s swift decision to reverse course had apparently allowed the Expeditionary Force to move out of range of the smaller missiles before a sixth wave could be launched.

The Expeditionary Force retreated to Sagittaron, where the Battlestars Columbia and Solaris were assigned to guard the colony. Two Ragnar class space stations in orbit and twenty-eight maintenance facilities on the surface provided enough maintenance capacity to support two Galactica class Battlestars. The rest of the fleet returned to Sol for repairs and overhauls. Until the size of the Colonial Fleet could be expanded, the assault on Cerberus-B III would have to be postponed.

In mid-January, full communications were established with the Federated States of Remus, the alien race that had been encountered in the Pericles system. Both sides were keen to establish diplomatic relations so an Armistice class diplomatic station was towed to the system. The Remus were a race, like the Khazhari, who seemed to be very closely-related to humanity in terms of appearance. In fact, the only immediately identifiable differences were pointed ears and more angular features. Unlike the Khazhari, the Remus had a spartan approach in their sartorial choices, wearing simple unforms of red and silver, and their conduct seemed efficient and competent, yet courteous.

The Council of Twelve wanted to repeat the success of the colonization efforts in Pandora and Talos in terms of securing the systems against alien claims, so the shipping capacity of the Twelve Colonies was devoted to building up a new colony on Pericles III. The ruins on the planet were fully surveyed in March 2309 and eleven potential sites of interest were identified. The Federated States also finished their own survey and the recovery operations became a race between the two sets of ground forces. Fuel, supplies, infrastructure and a mining complex were  recovered by Colonial engineers.

Two more Asgard class Battlestars, Midgard and Vanaheim, joined the Colonial Fleet in late March. The total Battlestar strength was now ten Galactica II class, nine Valkyrie II class and three Asgards.

In May 2309, the attention of the Council was drawn to the Tauron Chain, which started with Aeolus, the point of contact with the Stave Commonality, then continued into Tauron, site of a Colonial population, and a further twenty-five systems beyond. It was the most isolated part of known space with none of the cross-connections found in the chains beyond Sol’s other jump points. The main system of interest in the area beyond Tauron was Sparta, six transits further out, which was a vast trinary with five potential colony worlds.

The system primary was a G-5 IV sub-giant with four planets and twenty-nine moons. The fourth moon of Sparta-A I was similar in size to Io and had four million tons of accessibility 0.7 Duranium and large accessible deposits of Boronide, Corundium and Gallicite. The moon lacked air and water but the temperature was -30C and it was small enough to make terraforming a realistic prospect. The ninth moon of the same superjovian was a Mars-sized world with liquid oceans, a thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and a dormant alien construct on the surface. The fifth moon of Sparta-A II was Mercury-sized world with ten million tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium and large accessible deposits of Neutronium, Mercassium and Vendarite. The atmosphere of 0.24 atm included 0.07 atm of oxygen and ice sheets covered half the surface. The temperature was low at -123C but it was another reasonable terraforming project.

Sparta-A I - Moon 4 Survey Report
Duranium:   4,274,888   0.70
Corbomite:   534,361   0.30
Tritanium:   2,663,424   0.30
Boronide:   1,803,649   1.00
Corundium:   374,544   0.80
Gallicite:   534,361   0.90

Sparta-A II - Moon 5 Survey Report
Duranium:   10,396,800   0.90
Neutronium:   4,260,096   0.50
Tritanium:   3,326,976   0.10
Boronide:   627,264   0.10
Mercassium:   968,256   0.60
Vendarite:   451,584   0.80
Gallicite:   5,184   0.60

Two of the five planets orbiting Sparta-B had breathable atmospheres and large ice sheets, with colony costs of 0.49 and 0.78 respectively. Sparta-B II had deposits of all eleven minerals, with a range of accessibilities, while Sparta-B III had fifty-six million tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium. The latter was Earth-sized, while the former was midway between Mars and Earth in size. Both were tide-locked and had orbits of minimal eccentricity. Sparta-B, an M3-V red dwarf, orbited twenty-seven billion kilometres from the primary, but a stabilisation ship had made the long journey to the star and stabilised the LaGrange point of Sparta-B IV.

Sparta-B II Survey Report
Duranium:   10,179,072   0.30
Neutronium:   8,219,689   0.50
Corbomite:   565,504   0.10
Tritanium:   6,682,225   0.60
Boronide:   14,853,316   1.00
Mercassium:   883,600   0.70
Vendarite:   3,359,889   0.80
Sorium:   3,534,400   0.50
Uridium:   14,853,316   0.10
Corundium:   3,896,676   0.10
Gallicite:   715,716   0.10

Sparta-B III Survey Report
Duranium:   56,010,528   1.00
Mercassium:   33,593,616   0.10
Vendarite:   9,922,500   0.10
Sorium:   28,005,264   0.10
Gallicite:   17,816,841   0.10

The downside to Sparta was its distance from Sol, requiring a forty-two billion kilometres round trip for freighters and colony ships. A single outward jump point led to the Orpheus system, a red dwarf binary, so the Battlestar Valkyrie and the Loki II class Support Vessel Freya were operating in Sparta, sending Raptors into Orpheus and the systems beyond in search of a faster route to Sol. In late May, a Raptor-G was attacked by an unknown assailant close to the inner of two planets orbiting Orpheus-B, after successfully completing a geological survey of the primary solar system. A new Raptor-SC, equipped with the Artemis-60B active sensor, was sent all the way from Earth to investigate. On June 12th 2309, it detected six Cerberus ships in orbit of Orpheus-B I. This was a much smaller fleet than the armada in Cerberus, comprising six ships of different classes, split equally between 17,500 tons and 8,800 tons. Given the distance from Sol, this Cerberus force would be avoided in the short-term rather than confronted.



By September 2309, five different mineral deposits had been exhausted on Earth and two more had accessibilities below 0.2. Fortunately, several of the off-world colonies had substantial mineral deposits and a program was underway to transfer mining capacity. This had been slowed greatly by the need to build up colonies in Pandora, Talos and more recently Pericles, but it would soon become the primary mission of Logistics Command. The state of the major colonies on September 4th 2309 is shown below. At this point, Earth still retained thirteen hundred mining complexes.

Mars
Population: 12.4m
Installations: 313x Automated Mine, 138x Mine.

Duranium:   723,777   0.80
Tritanium:   1,037,236   0.10
Vendarite:   5,661,236   0.10
Sorium:   2,134,280   0.10
Gallicite:   1,015,089   0.80

Trinculo
Installations: 28x Automated Mine.

Duranium:   11,568   1.00
Neutronium:   6,722   1.00
Corbomite:   1,349   0.69
Tritanium:   4,687   1.00
Boronide:   4,687   1.00

Leonis Colony
Location: Adjacent to Sol
Population: 18.2m
Installations: 199x Mine, 6x Maintenance Facility, 1x Refuelling Station

Duranium:   552,225   0.90
Neutronium:   177,453   0.70
Tritanium:   153,617   0.60
Boronide:   482,553   0.70
Sorium:   131,581   0.50
Corundium:   630,425   0.90
Gallicite:   386,261   1.00

Talos Prime
Location: Two transits via Circe
Population: 6.6m (also 888m Talosians)
Installations: 87x Mine, 4x Maintenance Facility

Duranium:   1,163,480   1.00
Neutronium:   202,392   0.90
Corbomite:   260,480   1.00
Tritanium:   526,916   0.70
Boronide:   218,216   0.70
Mercassium:   461,480   1.00
Vendarite:   439,916   0.70
Sorium:   1,182,378   0.60
Uridium:   241,052   0.40
Corundium:   234,340   0.50
Gallicite:   297,228   0.60

Scorpia Colony
Location: Two transits via Circe
Population: 5.3m
Installations: 7x Maintenance Facility, 1x Refuelling Station, 1x Ragnar class space station

Duranium:   134,162   0.90
Corbomite:   998,001   0.10
Tritanium:   9,431,041   0.10
Boronide:   443,556   0.10
Vendarite:   7,295,401   0.20
Sorium:   3,422,500   0.10
Uridium:   5,784,025   0.80

Pandora Colony
Location: Three transits via Circe and Talos
Population: 4.8m
Installations: 1x Ragnar class space station, 1x Fighter Base class space station
No Mineral Deposits

Pericles Colony
Location: Four transits via Leonis, Ariadne and Cepheus
Population: 3.4m
Installations: 1x Mine
No Mineral Deposits

Sagittaron Colony
Location: Three transits via Leonis and Carthage
Population: 3.0m
Installations: 13x Mine, 28x Maintenance Facility, 1x Refuelling Station, 2x Ragnar class space station

Duranium:   145,767   0.90
Neutronium:   1,920,981   0.40
Corbomite:   2,232,018   0.50
Tritanium:   876,081   0.40
Mercassium:   142,869   0.40
Vendarite:   1,166,389   0.30
Sorium:   352,807   0.80
Uridium:   15,850   0.70
Corundium:   1,454,414   0.60
Gallicite:   2,073,571   0.80

Tauron Colony
Location: Two transits via Aeolus
Population: 2.0m
Installations: 29x Mine, 2x Automated Mine, 5x Maintenance Facility, 1x Refuelling Station

Duranium:   1,877,571   1.00
Neutronium:   1,214,088   0.90
Tritanium:   60,658   1.00
Uridium:   3,326,730   0.70
Corundium:   1,718,651   0.20

Aquaria Colony
Location: Three transits via Proxima and Typhon
Population: 2.0m
Installations: 5x Mine, 1x Automated Mine

Duranium:   11,290,717   0.50
Neutronium:   8,928,075   1.00
Corbomite:   11,209,097   0.10
Tritanium:   5,645,369   0.10
Boronide:   3,779,129   0.10
Mercassium:   3,239,931   1.00
Vendarite:   4,822,374   0.60
Sorium:   1,774,217   0.10
Uridium:   876,089   0.10
Corundium:   11,943,894   0.60
Gallicite:   11,209,097   0.10

Typhon Comet Mining Colony
Location: Two transits via Proxima
Installations: 140x Orbital Mining Module

Duranium:   137,684   0.90
Neutronium:   14,518   0.90
Corbomite:   149,711   1.00
Sorium:   74,281   0.50
Uridium:   54,541   0.70
Gallicite:   77,401   0.90

Terraforming had been performed on several of the colonies, with the Leonis Colony and Talos Prime both ideal habitable worlds. Sagittaron Colony had a breathable atmosphere and a temperature of 10C, but water coverage was less than ten percent. The colony cost of 1.02 was slowly reducing as water vapour was added to the atmosphere. Tauron Colony also had a breathable atmosphere, but the temperature situation was more complex due to a seventy-eight degree range across its orbit. It was also in the process of condensing surface water. Scorpia colony had plenty of surface water and a temperature within human tolerance. As soon as the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere fell below thirty percent, which was close at hand, it would become an ideal habitable world.

With the Pericles colony at a population of three point four million, the Council of Twelve instructed Colonial diplomats to inform their counterparts from the Federated States of Remus that the Twelve Colonies was formally claiming the Pericles system. The Federated States rejected the claim, stating that the system was important to them and that they would defend it. The two systems between Pericles and the Leonis Colony, adjacent to Sol, were both planetless red dwarves, so there was no other real estate that could be claimed. The Council of Twelve, in conjunction with the Colonial Fleet, had to either press the claim on Pericles militarily, or accept eventual Remus activity much closer to Earth.


« Last Edit: March 16, 2022, 05:54:17 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2022, 02:49:28 PM »
With the offensive in the Cerberus system stalled for the moment, due to the volume of missile fire from the forces guarding Cerberus-B III, the attention of the Colonial Fleet turned to Caprica, where a much smaller Cerberus Fleet guarded the fourth planet. A scout Raptor sent into Caprica in November 2306, detected six ships of different classes in orbit of Caprica IV, with three of approximately 17,500 tons and the others 8800 tons. Two Punisher class FACs were also detected via their sensor emissions, but the Scout was destroyed by missiles before it could gather further information.

On October 1st 2309, the Galactica class Battlestars Acropolis, Apollo, Pegasus and Solaris refuelled at the Pandora colony then entered Caprica and headed for the Cerberus-held planet, which was almost ten billion kilometres from the jump point. As the Expeditionary Force moved within eighteen million kilometres of Caprica IV, it detected a wave of fifty-one anti-ship missiles, in three salvos of seventeen, travelling at 32,000 km/s. All were shot down without the need to launch fighters for defensive duties. A second wave of fifty-one, arriving a few minutes later, was equally ineffective.



The third wave was sixty-three missiles in groups of nine with a speed of 48,000km/s. All two hundred and forty Vipers were launched to assist with point defence, which resulted in the elimination of every inbound missile. A further five waves of fifty-one arrived, without a single hit being suffered. When the Expeditionary Force moved within three million kilometres, a ground forces signature of 7300 tons was detected. This was likely to represent a significantly larger force after accounting for the concealment benefits of fortification.



At two point four million kilometres, a wave of one hundred and fourteen size-1 missiles was detected, travelling at almost 70,000 km/s, followed by several more waves at ten second intervals. The senior Colonial officer in the system, Commander Niobe Tyrol of the Solaris, decided to continue the approach to Caprica IV in attempt to ride out the attack. Her own ship was the initial target, suffering a total of eighty-one strength-1 hits from the first four waves but managing to entirely avoid a new wave of fifty-one size-6 anti-ship missiles. The Battlestar Acropolis was the next target, receiving fifty-seven hits from two waves before the Cerberus adopted a new tactic; attacking the escorting Vipers.

The eighth wave of missiles destroyed two Vipers and damaged a third. The ninth scored twenty-five more hits on Solaris, while the tenth and eleventh destroyed five Vipers, disabled a further two by destroying their engines, and damaged the armour on two more. This pattern continued, with two thirds of missiles directed against the fighter screen and the remaining third against the Battlestar Solaris. In total, the Cerberus launched thirty-six waves of size-1 missiles, more than four thousand in total, plus two further waves of anti-ship missiles. When the Colonial sensors were finally clear of missile contacts, Solaris had lost a third of her armour and forty-nine Vipers had been destroyed, slightly over twenty-percent of the starting strikegroups. The Expeditionary Fleet was one million kilometres from Caprica IV.

All one hundred and ninety-one surviving Vipers were ordered to accelerate to maximum speed and attack the Cerberus ships. The priority was the 17,500-ton vessels, designated as Retribution, Vindicator and Enforcer, followed by the three 8800-ton ships, believed to be the source of the 17-missile salvos and designated as Raptor, Dictator and Gladiator classes. At 300,000 km, thirteen surface-based lasers opened fire, destroying three Vipers.

As the Vipers arrived in orbit, nine were attacked and destroyed by surface-based gauss cannon and a further five by the Vindicator, which mounted fourteen twin gauss cannon turrets. In return, the Vipers inflicted almost three hundred strength-1 hits on the largest Cerberus vessels. Within the next five seconds, nine more Vipers were hit by the constant gauss cannon attacks from both orbit and surface, but they were starting to penetrate the Cerberus armour.



Losses began mounting very quickly among the Colonial fighters when the Retribution class launched thirty-four size-1 missiles and the three smaller warships launched forty-two. Eight Vipers were hit by missiles, five by the gauss-armed Vindicator and twenty-two by both types of surface-to-orbit weapons. The Retribution, which had been previously mis-classified as a defence base but turned out to be an AMM-armed escort cruiser, exploded under heavy fire.

A few seconds later, the Vindicator and the Enforcer, which Colonial Intelligence now believed was armed with seventy-seven size-1 launchers, were both destroyed for the loss of another twelve fighters. One hundred and seventeen Vipers remained, just under half of the starting force. Commander Tyrol ordered the fighters to target the surface, ignoring the remaining Cerberus ships. The Battlestars were racing to assist but were still half a million kilometres away.

The ravaged Viper squadrons swept over the surface looking for targets, but Caprica IV was a world of jungle-covered mountains, making it extremely difficult to find the STOs. Nine Vipers were shot down without registering a single hit. Meanwhile, the seven Punisher class FACs had broken orbit and were heading away from the Colonial forces. Commander Tyrol abandoned his previous plan and ordered the surviving Vipers to return to the Battlestars, which held station at 500,000 kilometres. As the fighters broke away, they were pursued by the three remaining Cerberus warships: the Raptor, Dictator and Gladiator. Once the surviving Vipers landed, the three alien destroyers continued closing on the Battlestars, but without firing. Commander Tyrol assumed this was a suicide run, so the slower Battlestars backed away while firing at the approaching Cerberus vessels. All three were destroyed well short of their targets.

One hundred and thirty-two Vipers were lost in the assault on Cerberus IV. Forty-nine were destroyed by AMMs on approach and eight more by missiles during the orbital battle. The gauss-armed Vindicator destroyed sixteen. The surface-to-orbit weapons proved the decisive factor though, with fifty-nine Viper kills in a very short period of time. They were also extremely well-protected by the planetary terrain, which made it very difficult for the Vipers to destroy them. Without the STOs, the battle would have been won with far fewer losses. Even though victory was not complete, the Cerberus mobile forces had been wiped out with the exception of the fleeing FACs. A single Viper squadron was launched to run them down.

The Battlestar Pegasus had the fewest casualties in her strikegroup and she was undamaged, so thirteen Vipers were detached from other squadron to bring her back to full strength. She took up position in orbit of the nearby Caprica V while the other three Battlestars headed back to Earth for repair and the reconstitution of their Viper squadrons.

Given the difficulty in engaging the Cerberus surface-based weapons, the Colonial Fleet was faced with two options for a follow-up operation against Caprica IV. Either a massed attack by a large force of Battlestars and fighters, which could result in significant damage and a weakening of defences elsewhere, or a ground operation to take out the STOs. However, the only real option for a ground assault was the two Thunderchild class Troop Transports that were captured from the Stave Commonality, as the Twelve Colonies had yet to develop its own drop capable transport bays. The latter option was selected and a plan was put in place to assemble a ground force on Cerberus V and then use the Thunderchilds to drop those forces on Cerberus IV in two waves.

Thunderchild class Troop Transport      101,020 tons       600 Crew       4,231.5 BP       TCS 2,020    TH 3,400    EM 0
1682 km/s      Armour 7-193       Shields 0-0       HTK 253      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 26    Max Repair 200 MSP
Troop Capacity 45,000 tons     Drop Capable    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 4   
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (17)    Power 3400    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 1,300,000 Litres    Range 76.3 billion km (524 days at full power)

CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

In orbit of the Pericles colony, founded in an attempt to claim territory close to the Federated States of Remus, the Battlestar Vanir was sending survey Raptors into nearby systems in an attempt to locate the Remus home world. On December 20th 2309, a survey Raptor in Halicarnassus, two jumps beyond Pericles via Selene, was asked to leave by the Federated States, the first sign of a territorial claim. The request was framed more as a polite suggestion so the Council of Twelve decided to ignore it and continue the survey of Halicarnassus.

Over the next few weeks, several different Remus populations and naval squadrons were detected: on the third planet, within the asteroid belt of the primary star and on the Selene jump point. After multiple warnings from the Remus and a sweep through the system by a scout Raptor in February 2310, the decision was taken to abandon the survey and accept the territorial claim of the Federated States on Halicarnassus.









On February 12th 2310, the first two Zeus class Battlestars were completed at the Scorpia Fleet Shipyard. The Zeus was twenty-five percent larger than the Galactica II class, but retained the same strikegroup. The extra mass was dedicated to a much heavier armament and more formidable defences, including the first operational shield generators. The primary armament comprised twenty Ares Kinetics AK-25 Railguns with a 250,000 km range, compared to eight 20cm railguns on the Galactica, supported by six twin gauss cannon turrets. The armour was reduced in thickness by approximately eleven percent, although overall armour mass was slightly more. In compensation, the four Corinthus-Arae CA-70B Shield Generators could shrug off considerable damage before that armour was even threatened. The Zeus was the first Colonial warship to be equipped with ECM and ECCM and also benefited from new sensor technology that allowed the first primary active sensor with a hundred million kilometre range. The Battlestar Zeus and her sister ship Hades were both dispatched to Caprica to cover the invasion of Caprica IV.

Zeus class Battlestar      93,750 tons       2,031 Crew       12,946.3 BP       TCS 1,875    TH 7,500    EM 8,520
4000 km/s      Armour 8-183       Shields 284-426       HTK 497      Sensors 12/16/0/0      DCR 65      PPV 257.92
Maint Life 1.93 Years     MSP 5,610    AFR 1082%    IFR 15.0%    1YR 1,960    5YR 29,396    Max Repair 375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 24,000 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 480    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-750 Ion Drive (10)    Power 7500    Fuel Use 24.49%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 3,050,000 Litres    Range 23.9 billion km (69 days at full power)
Corinthus-Arae CA-70B Shield Generator (4)     Recharge Time 426 seconds (0.7 per second)

Ares Kinetics AK-25 Railgun (20x4)    Range 250,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 15-3.75     ROF 20       
Ares Kinetics G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turret (6x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Hyperion R256-S4 Beam Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Hyperion R64-S16 Beam Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-15 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (5)     Total Power Output 77.3    Exp 5%

Artemis-100B Active Sensor (1)     GPS 19200     Range 99.6m km    Resolution 120
Artemis-6MB Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 574.5k km    Resolution 1
Themis TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
Themis EM-16B Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 16     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  31.6m km

ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

Strike Group
2x Raptor-MB Assault Transport   Speed: 8754 km/s    Size: 19.99
5x Cobra MK II Fighter   Speed: 7504 km/s    Size: 11.99
60x Viper MK II-B Fighter   Speed: 10001 km/s    Size: 6
1x Raptor-SC Scout   Speed: 4003 km/s    Size: 19.98

The alien population on Talos Prime was rapidly adjusting to life under Colonial guidance. Two years after the operation to protect the Talosians, the Talosian leadership approached the Council of Twelve with a request for full inclusion in the Twelve Colonies. The Council agreed to this with the proviso of a transition period. On that basis, the Talosians became a Candidate Population. During the transition, they would be able to operate Colonial installations at eighty percent efficiency.

On March 30th 2301, a new colony was established on Talos II, a large, terrestrial ocean world with gravity of 1.39G and a dense nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere that included 0.71 atm of oxygen. The planet was unlikely to be terraformed due to the need to remove such a large quantity of oxygen, but it was colony cost 2.0 for humans. The Talosians would be unable to colonise the planet as their maximum gravitational tolerance was 1.3G.

Talos-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   129,154,592   0.70
Neutronium:   60,516   0.10
Tritanium:   25,847,056   0.80
Mercassium:   35,832,196   0.10
Vendarite:   4,901,796   0.10
Sorium:   63,266,116   0.10
Uridium:   63,266,116   0.10
Corundium:   7,322,436   1.00
Gallicite:   7,322,436   1.00

By mid-April 2310, six months after the naval engagement at Caprica IV, two salvage ship had recovered all the wrecks outside Cerberus weapon range and the Colonial invasion force had gathered at Caprica V. The two drop-capable transports, Thunderchild and Polyphemus, had a total of four Marine Regiments loaded, each with three battalions, plus two battalions from a fifth regiment. Three further regiments, plus the regimental assets and remaining battalion from the partial regiment in the first wave, remained on Caprica V and would be dropped as a second wave, assuming the transports survived. The Thunderchild class transports had a maximum speed of 1682 km/s, which meant they would have to spend more than three minutes in weapon range of the larger STOs just to reach the target, and then endure their fire again on the way out.

The Thunderchilds were accompanied by the two newest Battlestars, Zeus and Hades, which were hoping to draw fire away from the transports and rely on their shields for protection. The Battlestars would be slightly ahead of the transports and firing on the way in, albeit with a minimal chance to hit, but had been ordered not to deploy their strikegroups and to remain outside the range of the surface-based gauss weapons. Once the troops were dropped, all space-based forces would withdraw.



At 09:32 on April 15th 2301, the Battlestars and the transports passed the orbit of Caprica IVs outermost moon. Moments later, the surface-based lasers opened fire, scoring a minor hit on the shields of the Battlestar Hades. They fired again at 256,000 km, after a 40-second recharge period, scoring a single strength-7 hit. Five seconds later, the two Battlestars returned fire. With forty AK-25 railguns between, they fired a total of one hundred and sixty shots. A single STO was hit, but not destroyed. They fired again twenty seconds later, without success.

The next volley from the Cerberus lasers, estimated to be 37.5cm calibre, was more effective, with five strength-9 strikes on Hades’ shields at 189,000 km. With their faster rate of fire, the Battlestars responded with two volleys, the second of which destroyed one of the gauss-based weapons. At 122,000 km, Hades was rocked by nine strength-15 hits, which dropped her shields below half. After two more ineffective barrages from the Colonial warships, the Battlestar Hades dropped back so that the Battlestar Zeus might draw fire.

The Cerberus obliged with a devastating volley at 55,000 km. Nine strength-33 hits blasted down Zeus’ intact shields and a further two hits both penetrated her armour, causing minor internal damage and killing three of her crew. As another hit that passed through one of the gaping holes in her armour would be potentially catastrophic, Zeus was forced to pull back toward Caprica IV. Hades also pulled back a little, but remained between Zeus and the planet. The Thunderchild class troop transports maintained their approach to Caprica IV and would be able to drop their marines before the huge ground-based lasers recharged. However, they still faced the rapid-firing gauss batteries during the last 30,000 kilometres.

Most of the fire was concentrated on Thunderchild, which suffered one hundred and seventy-seven strength-1 hits on the approach, with armour penetrations of up to fifty-seven percent. Polyphemus was hit forty-nine times. The Battlestars were continuing their supporting fire from over a hundred thousand kilometres away, still without success. Finally, the transports reached orbit, dropped their marines and turned to run, just as the Cerberus lasers completed their recharging cycle.

The transport crews feared the worst, but the surface-based lasers targeted Hades at 115,000 km. Four strength-16 hits reduced her recharging shields to forty-two percent. Zeus was way out at 215,000 km and had nine percent shield strength. As the Thunderchilds retreated, they were still under continual fire from the gauss batteries. Thunderchild was hit fifty-four times, then one of the gauss weapons was destroyed by a lucky shot from one of the Battlestars. The Cerberus changed their targeting to Polyphemus, inflicting ninety-six further hits before both transports moved out of gauss range.

The surface-based lasers fired again on Hades, this time with far more effect. Nine strength-16 hits flattened her shields, reducing them to just one percent strength. She was forced to pull back even further as the Battlestars fired two more ineffectual volleys. By the time the Cerberus STOs recharged, Hades was at 235,000 km, with Zeus in better shape with twenty-seven percent shield strength at 215,000 km. Even though Zeus was closer, Hades was the target once again, but fortunately only two of thirteen lasers were on target and her shields held. The transports were 126,000 km from the planet.

Forty seconds later Hades, still in range so she could draw fire away from the transports, took five strength-7 hits and her shields were down to two percent. Before the STO could fire again, Thunderchild and Polyphemus passed the two Battlestars. Hades headed for Caprica V at full speed, taking a single strength-6 hit before she passed out of range. Zeus continued to cover the transports, but was at 295,000 km for the next laser volley, out of range of her own weapons and with shields strong enough to deal with the long-range damage. Zeus received two more shield hits at 315,000 km before the whole force moved out of Cerberus weapon range.

In terms of strategic objectives, the battle was a success. The marines had been delivered to the planet and no ships had been lost. However, Zeus had serious armour damage and would have to return to Earth for repairs. Thunderchild and Polyphemus both had armour damage that was too serious to risk another approach to Caprica IV, so they too had to head for Earth, which would take several months due to their low speed. Hades was intact, so she moved into Caprica V orbit and the Battlestar Pegasus, which had remained after the initial naval battle, followed Zeus to Earth.

The Colonial Marine Force on Caprica IV comprised seven thousand marines, a fifth of which were armed with light machine guns, a hundred and sixty-eight Centaur AFVs, a 62-ton armoured vehicle with a cannon and a machine gun, one hundred and ninety-two medium howitzers and over three hundred anti-tank teams. As the Colonial Fleet was not in a position to deliver the second wave, the Marines were ordered to retreat deep into the mountainous jungles and use patrols to monitor the alien force without engaging. The Cerberus ground forces seemed content to remain in their deep fortification, with no inclination to give up their defensive advantages in order to hunt down the elusive marines. For now, the ground situation on Caprica IV was a stalemate.

With the Cerberus restricted to controlling laser-range around Caprica IV, a geological and gravitational survey of the rest of the system was well underway. Caprica V, the forward operating base for the Colonial Fleet and Marines, had almost eight million tons of accessibility 0.7 Duranium, ten million tons of accessibility 0.8 Gallicite and accessible deposits of five other minerals. There was also a minimal chance that a ground survey would find additional deposits.

Caprica V Survey Report
Duranium:   7,960,050   0.70
Neutronium:   4,264,225   0.10
Corbomite:   490,000   0.60
Tritanium:   1,768,900   0.90
Boronide:   828,100   0.80
Mercassium:   99,225   0.80
Vendarite:   396,900   0.10
Sorium:   8,236,900   0.10
Uridium:   2,160,900   0.80
Corundium:   8,643,600   0.10
Gallicite:   10,595,025   0.80

On June 1st 2310, a Mortis class ship of the Raiders was detected in Canceron, the first contact with the Raiders in many years. A colony of 380,000 had been established on Canceron II, a world that required minimal terraforming but had no useful mineral resources and was therefore low priority. The system was two jumps from Sol via Persephone and had no dedicated naval or ground forces. The fighter transports Hermes and Maia were immediately dispatched from Earth with two squadrons of Viper MK Is that would provide a new garrison force. Five much slower freighters with maintenance facilities followed in their wake. The Mortis passed by the colony several hours later then departed toward the asteroid belt, before reappearing eight days later and settling into orbit without initiating hostilities.

The Fighter Transports arrived three weeks later and moved toward the inner system. The Mortis broke orbit of the Canceron colony and headed away in the opposite direction at 4737 km/s. The transports launched all thirty Viper MK Is in pursuit. Two fighters were lost on the approach, but the rest quickly obliterated the Mortis. The fighters returned to the transports, which would remain in orbit until the maintenance facilities arrived.



A survey of the Electra system, two jumps outward beyond Talos, revealed a total of seven jump points. Only Sol and Pandora had as many. The surrounding systems were generally unremarkable, with one exception. Electra’s fourth jump point connected to Socrates, a known system one jump outward from Caprica. Socrates had been discovered in August 2309, during an early partial survey of Caprica, and a Raptor had been lost to missile attack. Colonial Intelligence believed that the Cerberus were responsible. However, with the discovery of Cerberus forces in Caprica itself, any further advance into Socrates was put on hold until the situation in Caprica was resolved.

The discovery of the Electra – Socrates jump point created a new route into the latter system and also reduced the distance between Sol and Caprica from eighteen to fourteen billion kilometres, once the relevant jump points were stabilised. The Battlestar Baldur, a Valkyrie II, and the support vessel Odin, were sent from Earth via Circe, Talos, Styx and Electra to chart Socrates, assess the Cerberus threat and potentially open the shorter route to Caprica. Before departing Earth orbit, Baldur has exchanged one of her two scout raptors for a Raptor-A missile corvette, which itself had exchanged eight of its Theseus missiles for sensor drones.

Once Baldur transited into Socrates, with Odin providing jump capability, the Battlestar launched the missile corvette, which in turn launched one passive and one active drone at each of the four planets in the system. Shortly after the launch, two Cerberus ships of a new type, designated as Abductor class, were detected via their sensor emissions close to the second planet. Socrates II was a super-terrestrial world 29,000 km in diameter with gravity of 1.93G, above human tolerance, and a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 3.75 atm.



Two hours later, emissions from two Reapers were also detected. Shortly thereafter, the drones heading for the second planet detected a single wave of two hundred and twenty anti-ship missiles, comprised of four salvos of fifty-five, on a reciprocal course towards the Battlestar Baldur on the jump point. The sheer size of the long-range missile attack suggested a substantial Cerberus force in Socrates. Colonel Thalia Reza, commanding the Baldur, was well aware her ship would have to jump when the missiles arrived, but she was determined to remain as long as possible to monitor the drones.



When the drones on course for the second planet moved within range of the approaching alien fleet, they identified four of the new Abductor class ships, which were 26,373 tons, plus a Retribution class escort cruiser armed with AMMs, three gauss-armed Avenger escorts, three Reaper laser-armed destroyers and a single Raptor destroyer, which Colonial Intelligence believed was missile-armed. As all the ships except the Abductors were known designs with confirmed or suspected armaments, the origin of the vast missile wave was almost certainly the four Abductors, with each ship launching salvos of fifty-five missiles. Baldur launched a Raptor-S to assist the missile corvette in monitoring the situation, then transited into Electra and headed for the Styx jump point, along with Odin.



After the Battlestar transited, three Reapers and two Avengers continued toward the jump point. The rest of the Cerberus fleet reversed course and headed back to Socrates II with the drones slowly gaining. Once the drones were within two million kilometres, they were both destroyed by AMMs.



As Reapers and Avengers closed on the jump point, the missile Raptor moved away so it could maintain control of the remaining drones. The enemy ships only had energy weapons and the corvette was faster. The Raptor-S was ready to transits into Electra, but her captain decided to remain when the alien ships changed course to pursue the Raptor-A. While the pursuit was underway, a pair of drones arrived at the innermost planet without any sign of Cerberus forces. Eight hours later, the missile corvette was struck by missiles from an unknown ship and exploded. With no guidance, the drones ceased their forward movement. The Raptor-S departed Socrates and headed for the Battlestar Baldur. The mission successful into Socrates was successful in the confirmed sighting of the Cerberus, but incomplete in terms of achieving full information on the system. The Council of Twelve decided against further action in Socrates until the neighbouring system of Caprica was pacified.

On July 16th 2310, a Raptor-G from the Battlestar Fenrir arrived in the recently discovered Cyrene system to find that another Raptor dispatched to the same system a month previously was missing. There was no sign of a wreck or any life pods. The Raptor-G transited back into Scylla, which was on the stable jump network, and notified Colonial High Command. Only minutes later, a large force from an unknown alien race transited from Cyrene into Scylla, appearing at point-blank range from the Raptor. The alien fleet comprised fifty-one ships of three different classes, all of which were larger than Vipers but smaller than Raptors; thirty-nine Termagaunts and eight Hormagaunts, both of which are 793 tons, plus four Spinegaunts of 734 tons. Moments after the alien transit, the Raptor was torn apart by massed laser fire from the Termagaunts. The Twelve Colonies faced a new alien threat.



Scylla was six transits from Earth along three different routes. The most immediate threat was on the route Dracon – Porphyrion – Aquaria – Typhon – Proxima – Sol. Aquaria had a colony of two million with a small mining capacity while Typhon was home to seven Monarch class orbital mining platforms. Another route led to the vital Leonis and Sagittaron colonies via Cymbeline, Theseus, Megara and Carthage, with the latter system connecting to both colonies. Leonis was one jump from Sol. The third route to Earth had no colonies and presented the least threat, at least in the short-term. One final threat was a diversion on the route to Leonis, breaking away at Megara and moving through Artemis and Marathon to Talos. The Colonial Fleet needed to understand the size and scope of the new alien incursion and find a way to defeat it.




Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2022, 08:03:25 AM »
On November 10th 2310, construction of the first Viper MK III was completed on Earth. The design included a new engine with a higher boost rating than the MK II, giving the MK III a top speed of 12,500 km/s. This increase in speed necessitated a new fire control system with a higher tracking speed. The Hyperion HV-3 Viper Fire Control was larger than its predecessor, which meant compromises had to be made to provide that additional hull space. The fuel capacity was reduced from 13,000 litres to 10,000 litres and the active sensor was replaced with a more compact model. Due to the higher fuel consumption of the new engine and the reduced capacity, the range of the Viper MK III was reduced by over fifty percent. The new active sensor incorporated recent improvements in sensor technology so the actual reduction in range was less than twenty percent.

Viper MK III class Fighter      300 tons       3 Crew       76.3 BP       TCS 6    TH 75    EM 0
12501 km/s      Armour 1-3       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 1.65
Maint Life 2.30 Years     MSP 30    AFR 60%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 8    5YR 115    Max Repair 37.50 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.9 days    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-75DB Ion Drive (1)    Power 75.0    Fuel Use 1210.31%    Signature 75.00    Explosion 25%
Fuel Capacity 10,000 Litres    Range 0.5 billion km (11 hours at full power)

Ares Kinetics VC-2 Viper Cannon (1x2)    Range 40,000km     TS: 12,501 km/s     Power 1.5-1.5     ROF 5       
Hyperion HV-3 Viper Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 12,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
R-1B Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 1.5    Exp 15%

Artemis-2V Viper Active Sensor (1)     GPS 2     Range 2.4m km    MCR 213k km    Resolution 1

In late December 2310, a Imperator class ship from the Federated States of Remus was detected in both Leonis and Sol on the same day, as it transited the jump point between the two systems. Leonis was three jumps from the initial point of contact with the Remus in Pericles, via Ariadne and Cepheus. The Remus were known to have entered Cepheus, but there had been no sign of them beyond that point. Somehow the Federated States had not only sneaked ships through Ariadne and into Leonis undetected, they had plainly surveyed the latter system. The lack of contact with the Remus beyond Cepheus had led to complacency and the Leonis – Ariadne jump point was unguarded. That oversight was quickly corrected. An urgent message was sent to the Federated States, asking them to remove any forces in Sol and Leonis. Within a few days the Federated States acknowledged Colonial sovereignty of both systems.

In January, the third Zeus class Battlestar, Artemis, and the fourth and last Asgard class Battlestar, Jotunheim,  were both completed in Earth orbit. January also saw the launch of the first six Raptor-D class scouts. The Raptor-D was intended to combine best qualities of the Raptor-S scout and the Raptor-A missile corvette. The result was a long-range, jump-capable scout that would primarily use drones for scouting, to avoid being detected and destroyed, while retaining a reasonable inherent sensor capability.

Raptor-D class Drone Scout      1,000 tons       17 Crew       110.4 BP       TCS 20    TH 80    EM 0
4001 km/s    JR 1-50      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 6      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 4.8
Maint Life 3.95 Years     MSP 42    AFR 32%    IFR 0.4%    1YR 4    5YR 64    Max Repair 40 MSP
Magazine 32   
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Morale Check Required   

Apollo-10B Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 1020.0 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 1

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-80 Ion Drive (1)    Power 80    Fuel Use 75.00%    Signature 80    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 120,000 Litres    Range 28.8 billion km (83 days at full power)

Missile Box Launcher (8)     Missile Size: 4    Hangar Reload 100 minutes    MF Reload 16 hours
Graystone GFC-20B Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 19.9m km    Resolution 120
Active Sensor Drone (4)    Speed: 6,250 km/s    End: 6.9d     Range: 3,750m km    WH: 0    Size: 4    TH: 20/12/6
Passive Sensor Drone (4)    Speed: 6,250 km/s    End: 6.9d     Range: 3,750m km    WH: 0    Size: 4    TH: 20/12/6

Artemis-30NB Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1920     Range 31.5m km    Resolution 120
Themis EMM-1 Minimal EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 0.8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  7.1m km
Themis THM-1 Minimal Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 0.6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  6.1m km

One Raptor-D was dispatched to Scylla, to check on the hostile aliens recently encountered in that system, and a second to Socrates, to improve Colonial intelligence on the Cerberus forces. In Scylla, the previously detected Raptor-sized ships had been joined by four larger ones: two 21,835-ton Devourers and two 9,109 ton Razorfiends. All the ships remained near the Cyrene jump point, which was their point of entry into the system. Interestingly, the aliens did not shoot at the drones. In Socrates, a pair of drones reached sensor range of Socrates II, detecting three ships in orbit, an Enforcer missile base, a Vindicator escort cruiser and a Terror class, the function of which was unknown. All three ships were 17,500-tons. Three further pairs of drones were fired at the other three planets in the system, but found nothing.



By March 2311, the two repaired Thunderchild class troop transports were back at Caprica V, where a colony of one point six million had been established in their absence. They were escorted by all three Zeus class Battlestars. The combined force, under the command of Commander Phoebe Aeternae of the Battlestar Hades, set out for Caprica IV to deliver reinforcements to the marines already encamped in its jungle-covered mountains. During the previous run to the Cerberus-held planet, the surface-based lasers concentrated their fire on the Battlestars, even when they were far more distant than the Thunderchilds, leaving the gauss installations to attack the transports on their final run-in. Commander Aeternae was not convinced that was a permanent situation, so she compromised by keeping the Battlestars with the Thunderchilds until they reached 150,000 kilometres from the planet, where they would then hold station to provide supporting fire during the final approach of the transports.



The first fire from the surface was at 398,000 kilometres, although all thirteen shots missed. The 37.5cm calibre weapons required forty seconds to recharge, but the slow-moving transports gave them plenty of time. They missed again at 330,000 km and then scored four strength-7 hits on Zeus at 263,000 km, reducing her shields to ninety percent. The Battlestar’s 25cm railguns opened fire at 246,000 km, without success, and continued firing every twenty seconds. With twenty railguns on each Battlestar, each volley comprised two hundred and forty shots. A second volley at 214,000 km struck one of the surface lasers, but failed to destroy it.

The Cerberus lasers fired again at 197,000 km, scoring nine strength-9 hits on Hades. Her shields were at seventy-one percent, so she dropped astern of the fleet. Two return volleys finally silenced one of the lasers. When Artemis and Zeus reached 147,000 km from the planet, the three Battlestars halted. Thunderchild and Polyphemus went on alone. At this range, the lasers inflicted strength-12 hits. Despite the transports being 16,000 km closer to Caprica IV, Artemis was hit eight times, reducing her shields by a third. The Battlestars fired a further two salvos without scoring a single hit.

Suddenly, the Cerberus changed tactics. All twelve lasers fired at Thunderchild, 64,000 km from the planet. The troop transport was staggered by nine strength-28 hits. She suffered considerable internal damage, including three engines and two of her nine transport bays, reducing her speed to 1385 km/s and killing eighteen percent of the embarked marines. Commander Aeternae ordered her to continue on course, regardless of damage, and drop the remaining marines. As her sister ship Polyphemus was faster and moving ahead, it was possible she would draw fire. All three Battlestars headed for Caprica IV to give the lasers a more tempting target.



The Battlestars continued firing as they closed. Another STO was hit but not destroyed. As expected, the gauss installations on the surface targeted Polyphemus as she entered their range ahead of Thunderchild. Three volleys from the gauss cannon inflicted a total of one hundred and forty-six hits. The Battlestars fired again, this time with Zeus only 28,000 km from Caprica IV, but failed to cause any damage.



As Polyphemus entered orbit, ready to drop her marines, she was fired on by the lasers at point-blank range. All twelve were on target and Polyphemus suffered massive internal damage from twelve strength-37 hits. Eight of her nine transport bays were wrecked, killing most of her marines. Only three hundred marines survived, just fourteen percent of the original embarked strength. Nine engines were lost, reducing the transports maximum speed to 791 km/s. The Battlestars took a small amount of revenge by finally eliminating another of the Cerberus laser installations. Eleven remained.

Polyphemus dropped her surviving marines, then tried to escape at her drastically-reduced maximum speed. Thunderchild passed her, drawing the fire of the gauss installations without taking further internal damage, then dropped her own marines and reversed course. Between the two transports, they had managed to deliver about half of the marines with which they had left Caprica V.

Thunderchild was attacked once more as she departed, with several shots penetrating her armour but failing to disable any systems, before she passed Polyphemus and the latter ship became the focus of Cerberus attention. Polyphemus’ ragged armour was ground away, with many shots penetrating. Another engine was disabled and her speed dropped to 692 km/s. She desperately tried to crawl out of range, but it was a losing battle. She was only sixteen thousand kilometres from Caprica IV and would remain in range for twenty-one seconds. Another volley of gauss fire smashed into her shredded hull as Polyphemus held her valiant course. Then suddenly, it was over. As the next volley struck, the transport exploded into a million glowing shards.

The surface-based lasers fired again. Thunderchild was 42,000 km from Caprica IV, but the shots were fired at Zeus, which was at 61,000 km. Seven strength-30 hits reduced her shields to twenty-six percent. Zeus accelerated to full speed while Artemis and Hades slowed down to keep space with the damaged Thunderchild.



All three Battlestars continued firing on the planet as the fleet retreated, destroying one of the gauss installations from 95,000 km. At 117,000 km, Hades was hit by six strength-15 hits, but the danger was passing. As the transport and the Battlestars moved away, the lasers became less and less effective, allowing the shields to keep pace. One more laser was destroyed before the Battlestars passed out of their weapon range. With the lasers focused on the Battlestars, Thunderchild reached safety without suffering any further damage.

The operation was a partial success in delivering some reinforcements to Caprica IV. However, losing one of the Thunderchilds effectively ended any further reinforcement missions. In any event, it would take many months to get the surviving transport back to Earth and repaired. For the future, the Colonial Fleet needed to build its own fast and well-armoured transports, rather than relying on captured alien ships. On Caprica IV, the marines decided to build fortifications for the new arrival before beginning combat operations. The Cerberus remained in their own bunkers.

On April 24th 2311, the Valkyrie II class Battlestar Thor was refitted to the new Valkyrie-M class, a design intended to launch and support Raptor-A missile corvettes while remaining far outside potential combat range. Unlike all other Battlestar designs, the Valkyrie-M had no weapons and only minimal armour, using the extra space for a large magazine that could hold two full reloads for its strikegroup of twelve Raptor-As. The design was based on the Valkyrie II as it was intended for the refit of existing Valkyrie IIs, rather than for new builds. This would allow the Valkyrie hulls to remain relevant in a universe where the much larger Zeus class Battlestar would be the primary combat unit.

Valkyrie - M class Battlestar      37,500 tons       639 Crew       4,504.3 BP       TCS 750    TH 3,000    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 1-99       Shields 0-0       HTK 188      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 31      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.10 Years     MSP 2,332    AFR 363%    IFR 5.0%    1YR 709    5YR 10,634    Max Repair 375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 13,000 tons     Magazine 1,734   
Colonel    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 30 months    Flight Crew Berths 260    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-750 Ion Drive (4)    Power 3000    Fuel Use 24.49%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,255,000 Litres    Range 24.6 billion km (71 days at full power)
Theseus Anti-ship Missile (432)    Speed: 31,250 km/s    End: 7.2m     Range: 13.4m km    WH: 6    Size: 4

Artemis-60 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 10080     Range 62.5m km    Resolution 120
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Strike Group
12x Raptor-A Corvette   Speed: 7503 km/s    Size: 19.99
1x Raptor-SC Scout   Speed: 4003 km/s    Size: 19.98

By mid-May, the Marines on Caprica IV had re-organised into six regiments, with a total of twenty battalions between them, two of which were understrength. In total, there are approximately ten thousand marines, including those with light machine guns, supported by over two hundred Centaur AFVs and almost two hundred howitzers. The marine battalions moved into a frontline defence posture with the regimental assets in support. Reconnaissance over the previous months suggested that the alien force was entirely robotic in nature and comprised approximately two thousand four hundred combat mechs.

The mainstay of the Cerberus force was a two-metre tall humanoid robot armed with a weapon similar to the marine light machine gun, which the marines had named the Centurion. These were supported by a much smaller number of larger mechs. The most impressive was a four metre-tall, larger brother of the Centurion, designated as a Praetorian, which was armed with a large calibre cannon, plus a heavier version of the machine gun. The similar-sized Decurion had two medium cannon that appeared to be suitable for anti-aircraft fire.

Now the marines were positioned for a fight, combat operations began in earnest. However, due to the nature of the mountainous jungle terrain, the battles were mainly company-sized skirmishes with limited casualties. It would be a long war. Initial losses were in the region of thirty to forty marines per day, with losses to the Cerberus combat mechs running at perhaps two-third of the Colonial numbers.

Three weeks after the commencement of hostilities, supplies were starting to run out. Every marine battalion had casualties, with perhaps twenty percent of the landing force killed in action. Cerberus losses were lower in absolute terms, but a much larger portion of the engaged force. Colonial Intelligence estimated they were down to fifty percent of their original strength. It was a grim struggle between two determined forces in extremely unpleasant conditions.

By mid-July, combat had been underway for two months. The Cerberus had lost perhaps three quarters of their mechs but the larger Praetorians and Decurion were now a larger percentage of the remaining force due to being much harder to kill. Supply for the marines was non-existent. They fought with whatever was at hand.

On July 31st, after months of desperate combat, a general breakthrough was achieved across the front line. The centre of the combat mechs’ line crumbled away and the marines were finally able to reach the STO weapons. Seven were destroyed in sixteen hours of combat. The surviving alien forces, perhaps a sixth of the original force, withdrew into the jungle, forcing the marines to leave their own fortified positions and hunt for them, which noticeably increased their casualty rate. Another eighteen days of ambushes and small-scale battles was required before the last mech was finally hunted down and destroyed. Caprica IV was secured on August 18th 2311.

This was a major victory for the Colonial Fleet, but the marines paid for that victory with thirty percent casualties among the engaged regiments, plus their losses on board Thunderchild and Polyphemus. Four battalions and two regiments were disbanded to create four slightly understrength regiments, each with four battalions. All the regiments would be combat ineffective until they could be resupplied. A survey of Caprica IV, now possible after the destruction of the surface-based lasers and gauss installations, revealed the ruins of an alien colony, forty-eight million tons of accessibility 0.6 Duranium and eight other large deposits at minimal accessibility.

Caprica IV Survey Report
Duranium:   48,807,200   0.60
Corbomite:   67,600   0.10
Tritanium:   20,115,225   0.10
Mercassium:   19,536,400   0.10
Vendarite:   4,601,025   0.10
Sorium:   3,312,400   0.10
Uridium:   14,707,225   0.10
Corundium:   14,212,900   0.10
Gallicite:   6,426,225   0.10

Shortly after the victory on Caprica IV, the Battlestars Galactica and Ares completed a massive refit to convert both ships into Zeus class Battlestars. The refit included increasing the size of the ships by twenty percent, adding shield generators, two extra gauss turrets and two more engines, replacing the main armament and the sensor suite and integrating new electronic warfare systems. The cost of the refit was forty-three percent of the cost of a new Zeus class. However, the huge step-up in direct combat capability and protection made the Zeus a far more capable platform than the Galactica. There were now five Zeus in service and eight Galacticas. In addition, the Valkyrie II class Battlestar Aesir was converted to a second Valkyrie-M, which reduced the number of survey-configured Valkyrie IIs to four. Three further Valkyries had combat-based strikegroups.

On September 27th 2311, mutual trade agreements were signed with the Kogari Dominion and Church of Khazhar. Both frontiers, at Pandora and Circe respectively, had been peaceful since the borders had been agreed.

By mid-October 2311, all five Zeus class Battlestars were at Caprica V, having been refuelled and resupplied. Their mission was to eliminate the Cerberus forces in the adjacent Socrates system. The intervening jump point had been stabilised at both sides, after a stealthy mission into Socrates by a stabilisation ship. Commander Athena Zephyrus of the Battlestar Ares was in overall command.

Expeditionary Force
Zeus class Battlestar: Ares, Artemis, Galactica, Hades, Zeus
10x Raptor-MB class Assault Transport:
5x Raptor-SC class Scout:
25x Cobra MK II class Fighter:
90x Viper MK II class Fighter:
150x Viper MK II-B class Fighter:
60x Viper MK III class Fighter:

The known hostile forces in Socrates included a fleet detected on June 1st 2310 that comprised four 26,373-ton Abductor missile cruisers, a Retribution escort cruiser armed with AMMs, three gauss-armed Avenger escorts, three Reaper laser-armed destroyers and a single Raptor destroyer. A second, smaller fleet was detected on January 24th 2311 in orbit of Socrates II, which included an Enforcer missile base, a gauss-armed Vindicator escort cruiser and a Terror class of unknown function. When the Expeditionary Force moved into sensor range of Socrates II, all the known forces were in orbit of the planet.



As the five Battlestars advanced, they detected an inbound wave of two hundred and eighty-six anti-ship missiles, divided between four salvos of fifty-five, believed to be from the Abductors, and one of seventy-six, probably from the Terror as the armaments of the other ships were already known. The wave was moving at 32,000 km/s. Commander Zephyrus ordered all three hundred Vipers to launch, including sixty of the new MK IIIs. In total, the Expeditionary Force had thirty gauss turrets with eight shots each, a hundred railguns with four shots each and three hundred Vipers with two shots each. That defensive wall proved to be sound, as every inbound missile was shot down.

Four minutes later, a second wave arrived and met the same fate. That was followed by three more waves at four minute intervals, then a twenty-minute break followed by five more waves. Not a single missile made it through the Colonial defences. At twelve million kilometres from Socrates II, the fleet came under attack from several waves of seventeen missiles, probably from the Raptor class destroyer and, at nine-point five million, a single wave of two hundred and twenty missiles from the Abductors. There were no hits.

As the range continued to fall, a ground forces signature of 8800 tons was detected. The terrain on Socrates II was mainly Alpine Forest and the combination of mountains and dense trees aided fortifications and made ground forces harder to detect. Any surface-based weapon systems would be difficult to hit, although a little easier than on Caprica IV. Based on previous experience, Commander Zephyrus expected to come under attack from AMMs once the fleet passed within two million kilometres, but there was no sign of hostile fire.

The Cerberus finally opened fire at 480,000 km. Simultaneously, the Enforcer base launched seventy-seven AMMs, the Retribution escort cruiser launched twenty-seven more and the Raptor launched seventeen anti-ship missiles. More AMMs were launched every ten seconds. Commander Zephyrus ordered the fleet to halt and defend against the attack. The AMMs were harder targets, with a speed of 70,000 km/s. Even so, not a single missile from the first wave made it through the Colonial defences.

A combination of recharging railguns and the distraction of the anti-ship missiles arriving simultaneously with the second AMM wave resulted in thirteen hits on Hades’ shields. That was only a minor dent in the overall Colonial defensive performance. In all, thirty-six waves of AMMs were launched by the Enforcer and the Retribution, along with a further seventeen missiles from the Raptor. Only ten AMMs reached their targets.

Unlike the earlier Battlestar designs, the Zeus class had a significant ship-to-ship armament. Therefore, as the only real energy combatants of the Cerberus fleet were the Reapers, each armed with five 25cm lasers, Commander Zephyrus decided to recover her fighters, then move into railgun range and attempt an energy engagement. At 380.000 km from Socrates II, the fleet was engaged by thirteen surface-based lasers. It appeared the planet had the same surface-based defences as Caprica IV. No hits were scored. At 300,000 km, the three Reapers opened fire, registering a single strength-2 hit on Hades.

The five Battlestars returned fire at 240,000 km, inflicting eighteen strength-1 hits on a Reaper, then pulled back slightly as the surface-based lasers completed their recharge cycle. At the same time, the three Reapers plus two Avenger class escorts, broke orbit and headed in the opposite direction from the Expeditionary Force. The Reapers and STOs fired together, achieving six strength-7 and one strength-2 hits on Hades and reducing her shields to eighty-five percent.

The Battlestars reversed course again and moved to 240,000 kilometres from the planet, where they held position. As the Reapers were moving beyond the maximum range of the AK-25 railgun, Commander Zephyrus decided to change the fleet’s targeting priority to the surface-based lasers. While the alpine forest terrain made the laser installations very hard to hit, the five Battlestars could generate four hundred attacks every twenty seconds. Their first two volleys scored a single hit unfortunately without destroying the target. Meanwhile, the Reapers and Avengers ceased running 60,000 kilometres from the planet. At that distance, the Reapers could fire on the Colonial fleet while remaining outside the Battlestars’ weapon range.
 
Hades took a pair of strength-2 hits from the alien destroyers, while Galactica’s shields absorbed four strength-7 hits from the surface-based lasers. Given the slow recharge rate of the lasers and the relative ineffectiveness of the Reapers at extreme range, Commander Zephyrus was confident the shields of the Battlestars could withstand the enemy fire. Her greater concern was her ships’ maintenance supplies, which would be used up in maintaining the railguns during a lengthy engagement.

At 09:11:45, the Battlestar Artemis scored a direct hit on a laser, blowing it to pieces. Twenty seconds later, Ares destroyed another. The Reapers and STOs were scoring more hits, but not making a serious dent in the Colonial shields. A seventeen missile salvo was launched by the Raptor, but easily handled by the Battlestars’ gauss turrets. At 09:12:55, a third STO was destroyed, this time by Zeus. The Reapers suddenly abandoned their ineffective attack and moved further away from the planet with the two Avengers as escort.

The surface-based lasers started to die more quickly. The Battlestar Galactica destroyed four by herself in the space of just three minutes. Ares took out three more, leaving Hades and Artemis to mop up the survivors, By 09:16:00, the STOs were silenced. The Reapers and Avengers continued to run and were more than a million kilometres from Socrates II when the last STO died. The Battlestars began moving closer to the planet and changed their targeting to the gauss-armed Vindicator class orbital defence base and a single Avenger class escort that had remained in orbit when its sisters fled.

At 09:16:25, with the five Battlestars at 180,000 km and starting to move around the planet to allow a fighter launch to chase the fleeing destroyers, the Vindicator suffered eighty-one strength-1 hits. Twenty-seconds later, its armour was shredded by one hundred and thirty-six more, sixteen of which hit internal systems. The missile-armed ships still in orbit launched a hundred and four anti-ship missiles and ninety-six AMMs. Commander Zephyrus ordered a course reversal and the launch of all Vipers. The move away from Socrates II gave the fleet enough room to engage the anti-ship missiles and AMMs as separate waves. With help from the Vipers, the fleet destroyed every inbound missile.



The Battlestars fired on the Vindicator for the third time and the base exploded. The Avenger class escort broke orbit and charged the fleet, attempting to bring its gauss cannon into range. It was blown apart in two volleys of railgun fire. The eight remaining Cerberus ships in orbit were all missile armed and apparently out of missiles, except for an occasional reload, probably from the planet below. The fleet closed on the planet and targeted one of the 26,400-ton Abductor class missile cruisers, firing at 79,000 km. The Abductor was struck by a hundred and eighty-three railgun rounds, each of which was a strength-3 impact, and disintegrated amid a strength-109 secondary explosion. A second Abductor was engaged at 56,000 km, receiving over two hundred strength-4 hits before it was torn apart by three separate secondary explosions.

Given the Expeditionary Fleet’s complete domination of the battlefield, Commander Zephyrus began to consider boarding actions instead of simply eliminating the enemy fleet. On that basis, the fleet opened the range to 150,000 km to avoid overwhelming fire before choosing its next target. Galactica opened fire on an Abductor, causing minor armour damage, while the other Battlestars held their fire. In response, both surviving Abductors, the Retribution escort cruiser and the Raptor all charged the fleet, presumably with the intention to ram.

The whole fleet fired at the slightly damaged Abductor, inflicting significant armour damage. Just two of those shots penetrated the armour, but that was sufficient to cause a strength-107 secondary explosion that destroyed the ship. The fourth and final Abductor suffered the same fate, exploding after only minor armour penetrations. The Abductor class missile cruiser seemed to have a serious design flaw. The next Colonial target was the Raptor class, which was left dead in space after a single volley. The Retribution escort cruiser was badly damaged and slowed to 1400 km/s.

Commander Zephyrus ordered her ships to cease fire and dispatched four Raptor-M assault transports from Zeus and Artemis to board and capture the two ships. While the boarding combat actions were underway, the fleet moved around the crippled Retribution and headed back to the planet. The three Reapers and two Avengers continued to run and were three million kilometres away, so Commander Zephyrus ordered all her Vipers to launch and pursue. Meanwhile, the Battlestars moved within 29,000 km of the planet and the two surviving bases, the Terror and the Enforcer, to check for the presence of gauss defences.

Nine surface-based gauss turrets opened fire on Zeus, scoring forty-three hits and reducing her shields to eighty-five percent. The fleet returned fire on the STO weapons then moved back out of gauss range after determining the general location of the targets. Galactica maintained her high accuracy against ground targets, by destroying five of the nine gauss installations by herself. The rest were taken out by Zeus, Ares and Hades. While the Battlestars were eliminating the last of the surface-based defences, their marines captured the Retribution and the Raptor, taking a total of ten casualties in the process.

Retribution class Escort Cruiser      17,597 tons       409 Crew       3,076.9 BP       TCS 352    TH 1,984    EM 0
5637 km/s      Armour 5-60       Shields 0-0       HTK 111      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 6      PPV 37
Maint Life 0.80 Years     MSP 655    AFR 413%    IFR 5.7%    1YR 820    5YR 12,305    Max Repair 395.6 MSP
Magazine 1,351   
Colonel    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Magneto-plasma Drive  EP496 (4)    Power 1984    Fuel Use 28.40%    Signature 496    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 900,000 Litres    Range 32.4 billion km (66 days at full power)

Size 1 Missile Launcher (37)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Missile Fire Control FC29-R1 (8)     Range 29.7m km    Resolution 1

Active Search Sensor AS25-R1 (1)     GPS 189     Range 25.7m km    MCR 2.3m km    Resolution 1
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

Raptor class Missile Destroyer      8,795 tons       184 Crew       1,399.6 BP       TCS 176    TH 992    EM 0
5640 km/s      Armour 4-37       Shields 0-0       HTK 57      Sensors 11/0/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 27.2
Maint Life 1.01 Years     MSP 298    AFR 206%    IFR 2.9%    1YR 292    5YR 4,386    Max Repair 248 MSP
Magazine 665   
Major    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Magneto-plasma Drive  EP496 (2)    Power 992    Fuel Use 28.40%    Signature 496    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 36 billion km (73 days at full power)

Size 4 Missile Launcher (40.0% Reduction) (17)     Missile Size: 4    Rate of Fire 240
Missile Fire Control FC41-R5 (1)     Range 41.5m km    Resolution 5

Active Search Sensor AS35-R5 (1)     GPS 630     Range 35.9m km    Resolution 5
Thermal Sensor TH1-11 (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  26.2m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The Terror and the Enforcer were the only Cerberus units left in orbit of Socrates II and both appeared to be out of missiles. Commander Zephyrus ordered Ares, Galactica and Hades to launch the remaining six Raptor-M assault transports. Both bases were undamaged so the marines had a blast a hole through the armour to gain entry. After several minutes of hard combat and the loss of fifteen marine raiders, both bases were secured.

Terror class Orbital Defence Base      17,449 tons       394 Crew       2,649.7 BP       TCS 349    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      Armour 5-59       Shields 0-0       HTK 119      Sensors 22/22/0/0      DCR 6      PPV 121.6
Maint Life 0.36 Years     MSP 569    AFR 406%    IFR 5.6%    1YR 1,588    5YR 23,827    Max Repair 801.3 MSP
Magazine 3,024   
Major    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

Size 4 Missile Launcher (40.0% Reduction) (76)     Missile Size: 4    Rate of Fire 240
Missile Fire Control FC121-R126 (2)     Range 121.6m km    Resolution 126

Active Search Sensor AS128-R126 (1)     GPS 23814     Range 129m km    Resolution 126
Thermal Sensor TH2-22 (1)     Sensitivity 22     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  37.1m km
EM Sensor EM2-22 (1)     Sensitivity 22     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  37.1m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

Enforcer class Missile Defence Base      17,470 tons       478 Crew       3,213.6 BP       TCS 349    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      Armour 5-59       Shields 0-0       HTK 135      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 6      PPV 77
Maint Life 0.42 Years     MSP 689    AFR 407%    IFR 5.7%    1YR 1,656    5YR 24,846    Max Repair 811.7 MSP
Magazine 2,833   
Major    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

Size 1 Missile Launcher (77)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Missile Fire Control FC29-R1 (16)     Range 29.7m km    Resolution 1

Active Search Sensor AS25-R1 (1)     GPS 189     Range 25.7m km    MCR 2.3m km    Resolution 1
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The twenty Viper squadrons closed in on the five fleeing destroyers. The three Reapers were armed with long-range lasers, while the two Avengers were equipped with gauss cannon turrets, making them the priority targets. At 09:38:10, three Vipers were destroyed by the Reapers at 214,000 km, followed by three more twenty seconds later. By the time of the third Reaper volley, at 09:38:50, the Vipers were at 39,000 km, just inside their weapon range. Another three were lost, but they inflicted one hundred and seventy-eight hits on the Avengers. The Avengers destroyed four Vipers with their gauss cannon at 17,000 km, before they were completely obliterated by the massed fire of almost three hundred fighters.

The Vipers turned their attention to the Reapers, reducing all three to wreckage within fifteen seconds. The Vipers headed back to their mothership, after losing thirteen of their number in exchange for forty-four thousand tons of Cerberus warships. Even though the fighters out-massed their opponents by 2-1, it was still a swift and efficient victory

The Twelve Colonies were now faced with the prospect of another ground invasion, with a similar defending force to Caprica IV. At least on this occasion, the marines would be able to conduct an unopposed landing. The forces still on Caprica IV were without any supplies, so they could not participate until that was corrected. Logistics units were under construction at Earth, but were many months from completion. Instead, the four Poseidon class troop transports began moving the Caprica IV marines to Talos, where they replaced the occupation forces. The latter were then transported to the lone moon of Socrates II, which served as a staging area. Given the experience in Caprica, the Council of Twelve wanted to establish a sizeable force before launching the invasion.

The Battlestars Hades was detached from the fleet and sent to act as garrison ship at Caprica V. The other four Battlestars remained in Socrates to cover salvage operations, in case any more Cerberus ships appeared. The capture of Socrates had opened a new route to Caprica from Sol. The existing route was via Circe, Talos and Pandora. The new route ignored Pandora and instead went from Talos via Styx, Electra and Socrates. Even though the new route was a greater number of transits, it was shorter by four billion kilometres. All the necessary jump points had been stabilised except for Socrates – Electra. That was now a priority. Once it was completed, the Expeditionary Force would use that route to return home.

In later November 2311, a Stave Commonality Gryphonicon class gravitational survey ship transited into Aeolus, the first Commonality incursion in many years. The Battlestar Baldur, a Valkyrie II class, was on station and launched a fighter squadron that intercepted and destroyed the ship. It was followed six days later by a Basilicon class scout. After the fighters attacked, the scout surrendered. A second Basilicon entered Aeolus on December 7th. It refused to surrender and was left dead in space by the fighters. A Raptor-M from Baldur launched a boarding action that captured the crippled ship. Colonial Intelligence had only speculation regarding the resurgence in Stave activity.

Basilicon class Scout      8,185 tons       142 Crew       952 BP       TCS 164    TH 825    EM 0
5040 km/s      Armour 3-36       Shields 0-0       HTK 38      Sensors 36/36/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
Maint Life 0.12 Years     MSP 72    AFR 536%    IFR 7.4%    1YR 587    5YR 8,801    Max Repair 206.25 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP412.5 (2)    Power 825.0    Fuel Use 33.03%    Signature 412.5    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,450,000 Litres    Range 96.6 billion km (221 days at full power)

CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Active Search Sensor AS67-R106 (1)     GPS 11448     Range 68m km    Resolution 106
Thermal Sensor TH6-36 (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  47.4m km
EM Sensor EM6-36 (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  47.4m km

A geological survey of Socrates II revealed a ruined alien city on the surface. The Cerberus forces in Caprica were also guarding a ruin, which seemed unlikely to be a coincidence. There had to be some reason the Cerberus were interested in such sites. On January 11th 2312, the a survey of the ruins on Caprica IV was completed, revealing eighty-six sites of interest for recovery operations.

The Council of Twelve had every reason to be pleased about recent Colonial operations. Caprica IV was finally secure and the Cerberus had been routed in Socrates, with minimal losses. A ground operation was required, but the Colonial Fleet could take its time and use non-drop-capable transports. A faster route to the key Caprica system had been established and even the recent Stave incursion was only a minor incident. That feeling of complacency was short-lived.

On February 28th 2312, the Skywatch station on the Sol – Proxima jump point detected the transit of six small ships: three Termagaunts, two Hormagaunts and a Spinegaunt, all from the hostile alien race encountered in Scylla. The aliens had originated from the Cyrene system, adjacent to Scylla, and had generated the usual colloquial names from Colonial crews before a consensus was reached on ‘Cylons’. They had been regarded as a distant and lower-priority threat as Scylla was in a remote part of known space, with three transits to the small Aquaria colony and five to the Leonis and Sagittaron colonies. Skywatch stations had been established on the Dracon – Scylla and Cymbeline – Scylla jump points to monitor any Cylon movement out of the system and a recon mission in January 2311 had confirmed their forces were still close to the Scylla – Cyrene jump point. Somehow, the Cylons had found a way into Proxima, without detection by any Colonial forces prior to their entry into the Sol system.

The Cylon presence in Proxima was also an immediate threat to the orbital mining colony in the adjacent Typhon system, where eleven 100,000-ton Monarch class orbital mining platforms were mining a comet. Their only protection was a planetary defence battalion on the surface, with six AK-20 railguns and two gauss installations. One jump beyond Typhon was the Aquaria colony, with a population of two million. It also had a planetary defence battalion, but the only ships in orbit were two Raptor scouts, a terraforming platform and a replenishment ship. Aquaria was slowly being established as a forward base for potential deployment of forces to combat an incursion from the direction as Scylla, but it was very early in that process. Now the chain in which Aquaria and Typhon were located was cut-off by the Cylon presence in Scylla and Proxima.

Despite the threat to Typhon and Aquaria, the real concern was Sol and its vast amount of commercial traffic. In addition to the freighters and colony ships, there were twenty-seven fuel harvesting platforms in orbit of Jupiter, protected only by two squadrons of Viper MK Is based on Io, and eighteen terraforming platforms in orbit of Mars. Fortunately, the lack of major colonies beyond Proxima meant that traffic passing through that system was limited to the regular mineral shipment from Typhon and the occasional supply run to Aquaria. On the downside, Proxima was the innermost of Sol’s seven jump points, so there were a lot of potential targets close by.

The five Zeus class Battlestars were all absent, with Hades in Caprica and the other four in Socrates. The four Asgards were also out-system, deployed to protect the colonies of Talos, Leonis, Scorpia and Pandora, while the Galactica class Battlestar Atlantia was in orbit of the Sagittaron colony. The Valkyrie II class Battlestars Kraken, Vanir and Valkyrie were on survey duty, stationed in Electra, Pandora and Astraeus. Baldur was still stationed in Aeolus to monitor the Tai Ceti jump point, while Fenrir was in Sol, but on the far side of the system from the Proxima jump point, heading home after a long mission. Two Galactica class Battlestars, Columbia and Solaris, were undergoing refits to the Zeus class and therefore unavailable.

Every other Battlestar was in Earth orbit, including the five Galactica II class Battlestars Acropolis, Apollo, Athena, Pacifica and Pegasus, the Valkyrie II class Battlestar Ragnarok and the three Valkyrie-Ms: Aesir, Heimdall and Thor. If the Cylon incursion really was just a scouting force, there would be time to re-assemble the fleet and investigate how the Cylons reached Proxima, possibly via a dormant jump point. However, if the alien force at the jump point was the harbinger of a serious attack, it had caught the Twelve Colonies at a particularly inconvenient moment.

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2022, 05:54:31 AM »
Its worth revisiting the last five paras of the previous update before reading this one

A fleet comprising the Galactica II class Battlestars Acropolis and Apollo and the Valkyrie-Ms Heimdall and Thor departed Earth orbit, bound for the Proxima jump point, while Ragnarok moved to protect Mars. Three Galacticas and a Valkyrie-M remained to guard Earth. The two scout Raptors in Aquaria, one of which was the D model, were ordered to proceed to Proxima and attempt to identify any other Cylon forces in the system. In Socrates, the four Zeus class Battlestars were waiting for the stabilisation ship Thalassa to complete her task at the Electra jump point, which would require two weeks. It was faster, although very frustrating, to remain in position rather than taking the route via Caprica, which was eighteen days longer.

At the Sol – Proxima jump point, one of the Hormagaunts attacked the Skywatch station using a microwave weapon that damaged electronic components. In two volleys, it disabled the Skywatch’s active sensor and both passive sensors. The alien ships vanished from Colonial tactical displays. Moments later, it was struck by the Termagaunts’ laser weapons and blown to pieces.

Thirty-six hours later, active emissions from two of the Cylon ships were detected thirty-four million kilometres from Mars, moving at 11,820 km/s. The small alien craft were faster than anything in the Colonial inventory, except the recently developed Viper MK III. The Battlestars heading for the Proxima jump point were already half a billion kilometres form Earth and about two hundred and fifty million kilometres from Mars. Fortunately, the Battlestar Ragnarok was already in Mars orbit. While Ragnarok would be able to defend the planet against the small force, it would not be able to catch the Cylon ships. Therefore thirty Viper MK IIIs, waiting at Earth for the launch of the next Zeus class, were dispatched to Mars.



The alien ships reversed their course and started to move away from Mars, perhaps after detecting the Ragnarok. The Battlestar Heimdall was detached from the fleet heading to the Proxima jump point and set an intercept course, hoping to track the Cylon ships long enough for its Raptors to launch anti-ship missiles. The sensor emissions ceased one hundred and ten million kilometres from Mars, but Heimdall and her Raptors remained on course.



Two hours later, the Cylon emissions reappeared twenty-four million kilometres from Mars. The Cylons had apparently reversed course again and moved in-system. Heimdall adjusted her own course to head straight for Mars. The Cylons reversed course yet again and disappeared. Meanwhile the thirty Viper MK III arrived at Mars. Ragnarok launched her Viper MK Is so the MK IIIs had space to land and refuel. The Cylons continued to dance around between Mars and the asteroid belt, while Heimdall closed in. Once the thirty Viper MK IIIs were refuelled, they headed toward the Cylons to attempt an intercept.



As the fighters closed in, the Cylons started running and held their course in the general direction of the Proxima jump point. The MK IIIs only had a 700 km/s speed advantage so it was a long chase. The Heimdall and her strikegroup closed from the other direction and achieved thermal detection at approximately eight point five million kilometres, confirming the presence of the same six ships that destroyed the Skywatch station.



With Heimdall’s Raptor-As at three million kilometres ahead and the Viper MK IIIs a similar distance astern, the Cylon ships changed course several times, trying to avoid being boxed in. Eventually, both the Vipers and the Raptor-As were within active sensor range, which meant the Raptors could launch missiles without concern that active contact would be lost post-launch. Unfortunately, the fire controls on the Raptors could only engage the targets at around 300,000 km, due to the difference between resolution and target size. It would come down to which of the Colonial forces managed to get into firing range first.



It turned out to be the Raptors. As the Theseus anti-ship missiles had a speed of 31,250 km/s and the Cylons had a speed of 11,820 km/s, most of the missiles were likely to miss their targets. Therefore, nine missiles were targeted on each ship, allowing each Raptor to launch twice. Six separate Raptors fired on the six targets, keeping sufficient missiles for a second attack.



All six targets were hit at least once. One of the Termagaunts was struck three times and destroyed by a secondary explosion.  The other two Termagaunts and the Spinegaunt took a pair of strength-6 hits each, causing some type of liquid to stream from the ships. The Hormagaunts suffered one hit each, which apparently did not penetrate their armour. None of the damaged ships were slowed by the impacts, which meant the Cylon ships were far better protected than similar sized Colonial ships. Five of the Raptors launched their second set of nine missiles.

The second wave of attacks scored ten hits, destroying one of the Hormagaunts and penetrating the armour of the other four. Only one lost engine power. Almost a hundred missiles had been expended so far. The remaining three mobile Cylons were closing rapidly on the slower Raptors. The six Raptors-As that had yet to fire tried to target the remaining Cylons, but things were happening too fast. The strikegroup’s scout, only capable of 4000 km/s, broke away, allowing the twelve Raptor-As to accelerate to 7500 km/s. The Cylons ignored the scout and pursued the missile-armed Raptors. However, even when they closed within 20,000 kms, they did not fire. Whatever internal damage had been caused, it had apparently disabled their weapons.

Finally, one of the Raptors managed to launch another nine Theseus missiles, hitting the Spinegaunt twice and leaving it dead in space, yet still not destroying it. The other two mobile Cylons sped past the Raptors, apparently trying to escape the system. Another Raptor launched and scored a single hit on the remaining Hormagaunt, without even slowing it down. The Cylons ships were incredibly tough for their size.

Two different Raptors fired on the mobile Termagaunt, scoring four hits from eighteen missiles and finally destroying it. The last mobile Cylon ship, a Hormagaunt, sped onwards, now a hundred thousand kilometres ahead of the Raptors. Astern of the battle, the thirty Viper MK IIIs arrived on the scene, quickly destroying the crippled Termagaunt and Spinegaunt. A Raptor-A launched nine missiles at the Hormagaunt, scoring one hit but still not slowing it down.

So far one hundred and forty-four missiles had been expended to kill three Cylon ships of less than 800 tons, cripple two more and damage a sixth. That was equivalent to the cost of nine Viper MK IIIs. The chasing Vipers were within half a million kilometres of the last Cylon, so the Raptors were ordered to return to their ship and allow the Vipers finish the battle. The Hormagaunt would soon be out of their fire control range anyway. The Vipers caught the Hormagaunt twelve minutes later and opened fire. It disintegrated in a strength-45 secondary explosion. None of the Cylon ships left wrecks when destroyed. They somehow just faded away into the Aether.

The brief engagement was an extremely chastening experience for the Colonial Fleet. A tiny enemy force, massing less than five thousand tons, had led the fleet a merry dance and proved very hard to kill. The thought of meeting a larger force, such as the one detected in Scylla, was extremely concerning. Heimdall recovered her Raptors and headed back to Earth to reload her missiles. Aesir, the Valkyrie-M that had returned to Earth, departed for Proxima to replace Heimdall in the fleet heading in that direction.

Approximately eighteen hours after the battle, in the early hours of March 2nd 2312, two scout Raptors dispatched from Aquaria transited the Typhon – Proxima jump point. There was no sign of Cylon ships near the Proxima side of the jump point. On March 3rd, the Battlestars Acropolis, Apollo and Thor arrived at the Sol – Proxima jump point, without encountering any Cylon ships. A scout Raptor from Acropolis transited into Proxima and confirmed the absence of Cylons, allowing the Battlestars to transit. The next stage was a resurvey of Proxima to check for dormant jump points. The four Valkyrie IIs configured for survey operations were all on deployment. However, there were four Raptor-R gravitational survey vessels in Earth orbit. One was from the destroyed Battlestar Jormungandr, while the other three were from the original strikegroup of Aesir, before she was converted to a Valkyrie-M. All four were dispatched to Proxima.

One of those survey-configured Valkyrie IIs was the Battlestar Vanir, stationed in Pandora and sending its survey Raptors into the surrounding systems. Three jumps out from Pandora, via Zephyrus and Metis, was the system of Leonidas, a binary with a bright F9-IV sub-giant primary and a yellow G7-V companion. Three planets orbited each star. The second moon of Leonidas-A III was a Mars-sized forest world, with liquid oceans and a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.21 atm. A Raptor-G from Vanir detected three Cerberus bases in orbit: a Terror, a Vindicator and an Enforcer. Shortly afterwards, it was struck by missiles and destroyed. With urgent problems closer to home, it would likely be some time before a force could be spared to attack Leonidas.

Two days after the engagement in Sol, a new type of Cylon ship, designated as Biovore class, transited from the original contact system of Scylla into Dracon, two jumps from Aquaria. It was detected by a Skywatch station deployed on the jump point. It remained for thirty seconds, then disappeared again without attacking the station.

On March 17th, another small group of Cylon ships, identical in composition to the squadron in Sol, was detected in Proxima, just three million kilometres from the Sol jump point. The Galactica class Battlestars Acropolis and Apollo were stationed on the jump point, along with the Valkyrie-Ms Aesir and Thor and both Hermes class fighter transports, which were each carrying fifteen Viper MK IIIs. The senior officer in Proxima, Commander Athos Corinth of the Acropolis, ordered the MK IIIs to launch and engage, as they were the only fighters capable of catching the Cylons. The Cylon squadron reversed course and ran.



After an hour of pursuit, the Vipers were drawing close to their targets. However, the approach into weapon range would be a difficult one due to the marginal speed advantage. The Termagaunts opened fire at 135,000 km, far outside the 40,000 km weapon range of the Vipers, inflicting a single strength-1 hit on the armour of a Viper. The speed difference was only 681 km/s, so it would take two minutes and forty seconds for the Vipers to move within weapon range, by which time the three Termagaunts would have fired twenty-eight times. The Hormagaunts were yet to fire but could also have longer range than the Vipers. Commander Corinth ordered the fighters to break off and return.

Two minutes after the fighters reversed course, the pilot of the Viper that had been hit reported that some form of acid had caused further damage to his ship, including the loss of his engine. The Termagaunt’s weapon, which was assumed to be a standard laser, apparently had a delayed after-effect. The other twenty-nine fighters landed on the two fighter transports, then the transports moved out to rescue the damaged Viper. A Raptor-D on the Sol jump point fired two drones in the general direction of the retreating Cylons. The drones detected the Cylon squadron holding position approximately eighty million kilometres from the jump point.



The Cylons began moving away again, out of range of the drones, and the transports completed their rescue. Twelve hours after the Cylons disappeared, they re-appeared on a heading for the jump point, moving within six million kilometres km before disappeared again. After the sequence repeated, Commander Corinth sent the Viper MK IIIs to wait in a position to the side of the Cylon approach vector. When the Cylons appeared for the third time, the Viper MK IIIs moved in behind to cut off their retreat and one hundred and twenty Viper MK IIs launched from the two Battlestars.



The Cylon ships prevaricated, making several course changes, before reaching a decision and charging at the MK IIIs. One Viper was hit twice during the head-on approach, but both hits were absorbed by its armour. Moments later the two forces collided at point-blank range. The Vipers outnumbered the Cylons by almost five to one, but the Cylon weapons were superior and their ships were much tougher. Four MK IIIs were lost in exchange for three Cylons destroyed and three damaged, then the MK IIs arrived and blew away the surviving Cylons in a single pass.

On March 25th 2312, the Battlestar Hephaestus, the fourth new build Zeus class, was completed in Earth orbit. Her strikegroup was changed from the standard configuration of the Zeus and Galactica II classes, replacing the five Cobras with an extra ten Vipers. While the Cobra fulfilled their function well, attacking escorts with short-ranged weapons, that situation was rare enough that the extra Vipers were deemed to be more useful. At the same time, the troop transport Thunderchild was repaired, which would speed up preparations for the invasion of the Cerberus planet of Socrates II.

One day after the launch of Hephaestus, the survey operation in Proxima found a previously dormant jump point in the general direction from which the Cylon squadron had appeared. The two Galactica IIs, two Valkyrie-Ms and two fighter transports at the Proxima jump point all headed for the new jump point. The gravitational survey of Proxima continued, to ensure only one new jump point was present. A scout Raptor entered the new jump point and discovered Thermopylae, a planetless red dwarf system. Two of the four survey Raptors in Proxima were diverted to begin a survey of Thermopylae.



On April 19th 2312, a Cylon ship was detected transiting the Scylla – Cymbeline jump point, which was on the opposite side of Scylla from the Dracon jump point. The ship was a new type of 3,560 tons, designated as Lictor class. Apart from the Skywatch station on the jump point, which was ignored by the new arrival, there were no Colonial ships or colonies within three jumps. The focus remained on Proxima and Thermopylae.

Twenty-four later hours later, a 21,835-ton Devourer and 9,109 ton Razorfiend were detected in Thermopylae, closing on the Proxima jump point. Both ships had previously been detected in Scylla, close to the Cyrene jump point, which strongly suggested that a direct connection, or chain of systems, existed between Thermopylae and Scylla. They Cylon ships were moving at only 1831 km/s. The Battlestars in Proxima could not transit into Thermopylae without a stabilised jump point, but they were able to send fighters through. The question facing Commander Corinth was whether to send those fighters, or wait to see if the Cylon ships transited into Proxima, which would allow an attack at point-blank range while they were suffering from jump shock. The downside of waiting was that if the Cylons did not transit, then any subsequent attack into Thermopylae would be at the same disadvantage.



Commander Corinth decided to send the fighters into Thermopylae. The risk of losing access to the system was more important than a potential combat advantage that might not even happen. One hundred and twenty Viper MK IIs and twenty-five Viper MK IIIs transited into the system and headed for the two Cylon ships. The Razorfiend and the Devourer turned to run and the fighters pursued.

At 75,000 km, two Vipers were attacked by the Razorfiend, with one suffering a strength-2 hit that penetrated its armour and caused its engine to explode, destroying the fighter. The Razorfiend appeared to have eight of the acid-laser weapons mounted on the Termagaunt. Two more Vipers MK IIIs were destroyed at 32,000 km, but the fighters were in range and opened fire on the Razorfiend, scoring sixty-four strength-1 hits on its armour. The Cylon ship was equipped with ECM-3, which was two generations ahead of the Colonial equivalent.

Five seconds later, the fighters were at point blank range. A pair of MK II-Bs were destroyed by the Razorfiend, but there was still no activity from the Devourer. It was either damaged or unarmed. Return fire inflicted one hundred and ninety-six hits on the Razorfiend. Only one penetrated armour, which was remarkable considering the ship was only 9000 tons. The Cylons apparently had a much higher level of technology than the Twelve Colonies. Five seconds later, both sides fired again. Two more MK II-B Vipers were hit and destroyed. The Razorfiend took ninety-four hits, nineteen of which penetrated its armour, before exploding.

The fighters changed targets to the Devourer. Over three volleys, they inflicted three hundred and seventy-five hits, only one of which penetrated armour. The fourth volley resulted in almost two hundred hits, forty-five of which penetrated armour and disabled the Devourer’s engines. The Vipers ceased fire and Acropolis launched its assault shuttles to attempt a boarding action.

The ship was captured quickly and it became apparent it was a biological construct. Rather than being built in a shipyard, the Cylon ship appeared to have been grown. It had no maintenance functions or manual repair capability and did not require any crew. There was no fuel storage and the boarders could not determine how the Devourer powered its engines. The function of the ship appeared to be salvage and it was also able to store some type of energy that was alien to the Colonial marines. Overall, the technology, while biological in origin, was plainly far in advance of the Twelve Colonies. The ship appeared to be in some distress and would likely ‘die’ unless a way to maintain it could be found. The boarders were taken off the ship and a tug was summoned from Sol. The brief battle was a victory for the Colonial Fleet, with seven Vipers lost in exchange for thirty thousand tons of Cylon shipping.

Devourer class Salvage Ship      21,837 tons       1 Crew       1,970.6 BP       TCS 437    TH 800    EM 0
1831 km/s    JR 6-50      Armour 9-69       Shields 0-0       HTK 128      Sensors 14/14/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 0 Years     MSP 0    AFR 4367%    IFR 60.7%    1YR 7,120    5YR 106,800    Max Repair 229.9 MSP
Major    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 0 days    Morale Check Required   
Salvager: 1 module(s) capable of salvaging 500 tons per day
Bio-Energy Capacity 5,000 Bio-Joules

J22130.0(6-50) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 22130.0 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 6
Inertial Fusion Drive  EP400 (2)    Power 800    Fuel Use 23.72%    Signature 400    Explosion 10%

CIWS-250 (2x10)    Range 1000 km     TS: 25,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Thermal Sensor TH1-14 (1)     Sensitivity 14     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  29.6m km
EM Sensor EM1-14 (1)     Sensitivity 14     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  29.6m km

On May 10th, a second Devourer approaches the Thermopylae – Proxima jump point, escorted by a Razorfiend. The Vipers were sent out once again, although this time accompanied by ten Cobra MK IIs, armed with particle beams. As before, the Cylon ships trued to run. The Cobras moved ahead of the Vipers and fired at 96,000 km, outside hostile weapon range, although the chance to hit was very low due to the ECM of the Razorfiend and every shot missed. They moved slightly closer and were attacked by the Razorfiend at 81,000 km, damaging two Cobras. One headed back to the jump point, while the other was immobilised. The rest opened the range a little continued the attack, scoring a pair of strength-2 with their third volley.

Suddenly, the Razorfiend abandoned its escort of the Devourer, accelerated to 8782 km/s and charged the Cobras, which had a maximum speed of only 7500 km/s. A single volley destroyed the crippled Cobra. The Vipers, which had been holding back, moved into the attack. The Razorfiend focused on the larger Cobras, destroying three more, crippling two and disabling the weapons of a sixth, before it was overwhelmed by the Vipers.

Commander Corinth decided to send four assault transports to attempt a boarding action against the Devourer, which was intact and running at 1831 km/s. The three mobile Cobras and the Vipers headed back to Proxima. Eight Marines were lost during the boarding attempt, due to the speed of the Devourer, but the ship was captured without further losses. Even though it was relatively undamaged, it would require a tug as the prize crew could not power the engines.

By early June, both Devourers were being towed back to Earth and all Colonial wrecks from the recent Cylon engagements had been salvaged. On June 4th, a new jump point was discovered in Thermopylae. A scout Raptor from the Battlestar Apollo made the jump nine days later and found Artemisium, a red dwarf with three planets. Thirty-nine Termagaunts, eight Hormagaunts and four Spinegaunts were waiting on the jump point. This force was of similar composition to that encountered in Scylla, but they were different ships. The scout was destroyed within seconds. There would be no assault on Artemisium in the foreseeable future.

In mid-June 2312, the Talosians achieved their ambition of becoming full citizens of the Twelve Colonies. Their home world of Talos Prime had a population of eight hundred and ninety million, which was close to the capacity of the planet. Even though Talos Prime was Earth-sized, it was a tide-locked ocean world, which significantly reduced the habitable area. Colonial freighters had been moving mines to the planet while it was a candidate population and over three hundred were already in place. The much smaller Leonis colony also had three hundred mines, while Mars had almost five hundred, including three hundred automated mines. Sagittaron Colony and Tauron Colony each had seventy-five mines. Seven hundred more remained on Earth.

The Colonial Fleet occasionally sent a scout Raptor into the territory of the Kogari Dominion, Federated States of Remus and Church of Khazhar. These missions were intended to update intelligence on the border regions without causing a major provocation. If detected and warned, the Raptors departed immediately. On June 17th a Raptor-SB made a run from Circe into the Khazhari system of Leoben and from there to Bellerophon. Past observations of shipping traffic suggested a Khazhari colony might be present in the system.

When the Raptor transited into Bellerophon, it detected the wrecks of eleven Khazhari warships on the jump point, eight of which are approximately 14,000 tons and the others were 7000 tons. There are five sets of life pods from the destroyed ships. Of far more immediate interest were nine ships of a previously unknown alien race, stationed on the Leoben jump point and presumably responsible for the destruction of the Khazhari ships. One was 21,200 tons, designated as Hammerhead, four were Barracudas of 16,800 tons, two were 8,500-ton Mantas and the last pair were 8500-ton Makos. The Raptor held position and attempted to communicate.



A few days later, two new ships of the Bellerophon aliens were detected in Bellerophon, approaching the Leoben jump point. Designated as Pike class, the ships were 10,500-tons and capable of 9098 km/s, indicating the new aliens might have an advanced level of technology. Both transited into Leoben, so the Raptor followed them through to  observe their actions and found the wrecks of both ships, along with a Khazhari fleet of eight ships, evenly divided between classes  of 14,000 and 7,000 tons. As the Khazhari claimed Leoben and would ask the Raptor to leave, it transited back into Bellerophon.

A second Raptor-S arrived in Bellerophon on July 3rd, after moving past the Khazhari fleet in Leoben, and  headed for the inner system to scout the planets for colonies of either the Church of Khazhar or the new aliens. Meanwhile back in Sol, the Battlestars Columbia and Solaris completed their refits to the Zeus class.

In mid-July, a large fleet of the new aliens was detected heading for the Leoben jump point. The fleet comprised sixteen ships of two new types, divided between eight 25,456-ton Tiger Sharks and eight 16,963-ton Threshers. Their speed was 4714 km/s. At the same time, two Colonial salvage ships and four freighters entered Leoben from Circe and were asked to leave by the Khazhari jump point picket. Instead, the six ships pressed on across Leoben with the intention of entering Bellerophon and salvaging the Khazhari wrecks. Communications attempts with the new aliens were still underway, albeit without much success.



Before the Tiger Sharks and Threshers in Bellerophon reached the Leoben jump point, one of the two Colonial scout Raptors transited into the latter system. A few minutes later, the sixteen alien warships followed the Raptor through. All eight Khazhari warships on the jump point immediately opened fire, revealing their weapons to the watching Raptor. The sole 14,000-ton Basra class was designated as an escort cruiser, as it was armed with eight twin 10cm laser turrets. Three 13,780-ton Dushanbes were armed with nine 20cm lasers and a single 25cm laser. They were designated as light cruisers. The three 7000-ton Herats were each armed with four 20cm lasers and classed as destroyers. Finally, the lone 7000-ton Shiraz was armed with three twin 10cm laser turrets and classified as an escort. The Raptor’s sensors recorded thirty-nine strength-10 energy impacts, twenty-two strength-3 impacts and three strength-16. One of the 17,000-ton  Bellerophon Threshers was blown to pieces.



The eight Khazhari ships, out-massed almost four-to-one by the new arrivals, suddenly transited into Bellerophon, probably seeing that as the best way to avoid the powerful alien fleet. However, there were nine ships of the Bellerophon aliens on the far side, which opened fire, destroying a Dushanbe and the lone Basra. The Raptor-S on the Bellerophon side of the jump point gained information on the weapons of the new aliens. The four 16,800 tons Barracudas were armed with fourteen 20cm lasers and one 25cm laser, in effect a larger version of the opposing Dushanbe, while the two 8500-ton Mako had six 20cm lasers. The Mantas were armed with two twin gauss cannon turrets with six shots per turret. The single 21,200-ton Hammerhead was a large escort vessel mounting eight twin gauss cannon turrets, with eight shots per turret. The increased rate of fire suggested a higher technology level for the Hammerhead compared to the Mantas.

The six surviving Khazhari ships moved away from the jump point. The Hammerhead and the two Mantas fired their gauss cannon, scoring eighty-eight strength-1 hits and destroying another Dushanbe, then the Bellerophon aliens gave chase. The Khazhari had a speed advantage, with their ships capable of 5021 km/s compared to 4708 km/s for the Bellerophon aliens. The range opened to 26,000 km/s before the gauss-armed ships fired again, scoring forty-three hits.



The 20cm lasers of the Bellerophon aliens fired a second time, after a recharge lasting fifteen seconds, and achieved sixty-one strength-10 hits, destroying the Shiraz and the last Dushanbe. Only the three Herat class destroyers remained in the Khazhari fleet, one of which was apparently crippled. Two of the Herats were destroyed by the 25cm lasers of the Barracudas and the gauss cannon of the Hammerhead and Manta, then the 20cm lasers fired once more and the last Herat exploded. The Khazhari did not even fire a shot after their desperate but ill-advised transit.

In Leoben, all eight Tiger Sharks and six of the Threshers left the jump point in pursuit of a 65,000-ton Bushehr class, a commercial-engined vessel of the Church of Khazhar, which was about twenty million kilometres away. The remaining Thresher transited back into Bellerophon. The Bushehr was destroyed by a single salvo, after which the Tiger Sharks and Threshers returned to the Bellerophon jump point. In Bellerophon, all the alien warships moved to the Leoben jump point.

Sixteen hours later, another Bushehr was destroyed, apparently on a course from the Leoben – Khazhar jump point, then an Abadan class scout appeared, heading directly for the Bellerophon jump point. The Tiger Sharks and Threshers tried to intercept but it reversed course and ran at 5000 km/s, faster than the 4700 km/s of the Bellerophon ships. The Colonial scout Raptor attempted to follow the Bellerophon fleet, although its top speed was only 4000 km/s. The scout eventually gave up and returned to the jump point when it lost contact with all the alien ships about a third of the way to the Circe jump point.



The scout and the pursuing Bellerophon aliens were subsequently encountered by two Colonial salvage ships, four freighters and a tug that were moving toward the Leoben – Bellerophon jump point. The Abadan appeared to be on a direct course for the Circe jump point. If the Khazhari scout transited, that would reveal the Circe system to the new aliens, placing them one jump from Sol. The Colonial tug delivered an Armistice Diplomatic Station to Bellerophon to improve communications with Bellerophon aliens, while the two Virgon class salvage ships began recovery of the alien wrecks. The eight Tiger Sharks and six Threshers reappeared after a few days and moved back to the Leoben - Bellerophon jump point. The fate of the Khazhari scout was unknown, but there was no sign of a wreck in Leoben.

On July 24th 2312, Colonial Marines began landing operations on Socrates II. All four Poseidon class troop transports, plus the Thunderchild landed six full regiments in the first wave. Four more regiments, waiting on the planet’s sole moon, arrived a few days later. In total, approximately 20,000 marines plus supporting forces were involved in the operation. The Cerberus force appeared to be similar to that encountered on Caprica IV. The marines used a similar strategy to Caprica IV, establishing their own fortifications before beginning combat operations. The Cerberus remained in their own fortifications, showing no inclination to attack the beachheads.

On July 25th, full communication was established with the alien race in Bellerophon. They called themselves the Cetacean Council and appeared to be large aquatic creatures, shaped like a shorter, fatter version of a whale, but with tentacles instead of fins. Their ships were filled with water rather than air. They were content to allow the Colonial scouting and salvage operations and made no requests for Colonial forces to leave Bellerophon.

A Colonial scout Raptor on the Leoben – Bellerophon jump point detected three Khazhari Herat class destroyers and three Shiraz class escorts at sixty million kilometres, in the direction of  the Leoben – Khazhar jump point. The Tiger Sharks and Threshers moved toward the new arrivals and the Khazhari ran away. A second Colonial scout moved closer to the Khazhar jump point and found there were now six of each type of ship. The Khazhari appeared to be preparing a counter-attack. However, they were chased back into Khazhar by the Tiger Sharks and Threshers.



A few days later, the Tiger Sharks and Threshers moved away from the Leoben - Bellerophon jump point to chase down an Abadan class scout. While they were absent, three Herat class destroyers and three Shiraz class escorts took the opportunity to transit into Bellerophon, where they were quickly overwhelmed by the Cetacean forces. On August 10th, the Cetacean forces on the Bellerophon side of the jump point were further reinforced by the arrival of four Barracuda class light cruisers, a Thresher class escort cruiser and two Manta class escorts.

Om August 14th, a force of eight Khazhari ships, comprising four Herats, three Shiraz and a single Isfahan transited into Leoben from Khazhar and approached the Bellerophon jump point. The Khazhari were chased away by the Tiger Sharks and Threshers, which were now back in position. Three more Herats and two Shiraz appeared in Circe, heading to the Circe - Leoben jump point from the direction of the Scorpia jump point. Scorpia was home to a Colonial population of seven million and there was no detection of the Khazhari in that system. As a result, the Council of Twelve decided that the Skywatch network required further expansion. The five Khazhari ships transited into Leoben and approached the Bellerophon jump point, where they are destroyed by the Cetacean Tiger Sharks and Threshers in a brief engagement. After the engagement, one of the six Threshers transited into Bellerophon.

In mid-August, two Basilicon class scouts of the Stave Commonality transited into Aeolus a few days apart. Both ships were destroyed by Vipers from the Battlestar Baldur. There had been no significant combat activity between the Twelve Colonies and the Stave Commonality for ten years, but the Commonality continued to send scouts to confirm the Colonial presence in Aeolus.

The Battlestar Valkyrie arrived at Circe-Leoben jump point in August 17th and dispatched a Raptor-R and two Raptor-Gs through Leoben to survey Bellerophon. In Bellerophon, another Cetacean squadron approached the Leoben jump point. Substantial Cetacean forces were now building up, with a dozen Barracuda light cruisers near the jump point, supported by five escort cruisers, six escorts and two destroyers. Eight Tiger Shark class cruisers and five Thresher class escort cruisers were positioned on the far side of the jump point in Leoben.



On September 10th, the same Khazhari destroyer flotilla, comprising four Herats, three Shiraz and an Isfahan, that approached the jump point a month earlier, reappeared and engaged the Cetacean fleet on the Leoben – Bellerophon jump point. All eight Khazhari ships were destroyed, along with a Cetacean Thresher escort cruiser.

A month later, a Khazhari Chakai class gravitational survey vessel was detected in Styx. As the Talos system lay between Styx and the known Khazhari operating areas, how the Chakai arrived in the system was a mystery. The Battlestar Kraken was in Electra, on the far side of Styx, conducting survey operations and also had not detected the ship previously. The Chakai was detected again a few days later heading across Talos toward the Circe jump point and once more on October 30th in Circe itself. Finally, on November 1st it entered Scorpia, where it was detected by a newly emplaced Skywatch station, and was asked to leave due to the presence of the Scorpia Colony. The Church of Khazhar accepted Colonial sovereignty in Scorpia and the Chakai departed shortly thereafter.

In Bellerophon, the Colonial survey operation was well underway. A probe of a newly discovered jump point revealed the Poseidon system, which had a K2-V primary, eight planets and over a hundred moons. There were no suitable planets for an alien home world, so the Cetacean home system lay elsewhere. Even so, the Cetacean suggests that the survey Raptor left the system. Given the polite nature of the request, the Council of Twelve decided to ignore it.

At approximately the same time, the Battlestar Fenrir arrived at Proxima – Thermopylae jump point to aid the survey operations that were expanding Colonial knowledge of the systems around Proxima. The Artemisium system seemed the most likely link between the Cylon appearance in Proxima and the original point of contact in Cyrene and Scylla, but the large Cylon guard force in that system precluded further investigation. Instead, the survey Raptors from Fenrir and those operating from Earth were exploring beyond the two other jump points in Thermopylae, which led to Ixion and Lyceum, both of which were unremarkable red dwarf systems.

The Cylons were not the only foe faced by the Twelve Colonies. The ground action against the Cerberus on Socrates II commenced in September and was completed after two months of active operations. Due to a larger force being employed on Socrates vs the same Cerberus force as on Caprica, Marine casualties were slightly less, perhaps ten percent of the engaged forces. One hundred and seventy-six potential recovery sites were identified in the Ruined City. In Aeolus, the Stave Commonality launched two further scouting missions, both of which eliminated by Vipers from the Battlestar Ragnarok.

Continuing survey operation in Bellerophon and Poseidon discovered a small Church of Khazhar population on an asteroid in Bellerophon and a dormant construct on Poseidon I. Two Cetacean wrecks in orbit of the Khazhari asteroid and an active signature from the surface suggested the Khazhari had used surface-to-orbit weapons, most likely lasers, to defend their position. The Council of Twelve decided not to send a ground force into Poseidon to research the construct, due to the sensitivity of the Cetacean Council over possession of the system.

After several brief forays into Leoben by Khazhari Herat destroyers, the eight Cetacean Tiger Sharks and Threshers had been drawn close to the Leoben – Khazhar jump point. In mid-November, two groups of Khazhari ships transited into Leoben and headed straight for the Bellerophon jump point at 5000 km/s. The leading group of three Herats was followed at a distance of three hundred thousand kilometres by three more Herats and three Shiraz class escorts. The Tiger Sharks and Threshers were three million kilometres from the Leoben - Khazhar jump point, but not in a position that placed them between the Khazhari ships and the Bellerophon jump point. The Cetacean fleet gave chase, but were 300 km/s slower.



The first Khazhari group transited into Bellerophon and was instantly blown to pieces by the seventeen Cetacean warships waiting on the far side. The crews and officers of the Colonial Fleet often made disparaging comments about the overly-ornate uniforms of the Khazhari Navy, their formal modes of address and their devoutness. However, there was no questioning their courage as they thew themselves against the larger and more powerful ships of the Cetaceans in an attempt to drive them back.

The Khazhari trailing group did not transit and instead moved past the Leoben jump point in the general direction of the Circe jump point. The Tiger Sharks and Threshers followed in hot pursuit. However, after dancing with the larger but slower Cetacean force in Leoben for several days, the six destroyer-sized ships charged for the Bellerophon jump point and met the same fate as their late comrades-in-arms.

On November 26th 2312, a Raptor-G from the Battlestar Kraken was struck by missiles from an unknown source in the Diogenes system, four jumps out from Talos via Styx, Electra and Tanagra. A Raptor-D was dispatched from Earth, which fired drones at the second planet, the only realistic location for a colony. The drone detected a Cerberus force comprising three orbital bases, an escort cruiser and three destroyers.



After a few quiet months in the systems beyond Proxima, a Cylon Lictor class entered Lyceum from Thermopylae on February 1st 2313. However, there had been no previous detection and a Skywatch platform, manned by volunteers, was stationed on the Thermopylae – Artemisium jump point. The Lictor moved off deeper into the system and vanished from sensors. Given the normal highly aggressive behaviour of the Cylons, it seemed very likely that the Lictor was an unarmed scout or survey ship.

After the Battlestar Jormungandr was destroyed in 2304, the survivors of her survey group were based at colonies and continued their survey duties. By 2313, only two Raptor-Rs remained, with the rest destroyed or assigned to replace losses on other Battlestars. One Raptor-R was assisting in survey operations beyond Proxima. The other was operating from Leonis and conducting a survey of Tethys, a system three transits from Talos and four from Leonis and Sagittaron. Although Tethys had been a known system for eight years, it had previously been a low priority for survey. However, now that Talos and Leonis were both key systems for the Twelve Colonies and even Sagittaron had passed ten million population, it was time to investigate a system that had a path to all three. In addition, the Artemis system, which was adjacent to Tethys and one transit closer to the three aforementioned colonies, was being considered for a colony of its own due to the presence of a world with excellent terraforming prospects.

The Raptor found two jump points in Tethys. The first led to Midas, a planetless K3-V main sequence star. The second connected to Medusa, a binary with eight planets, three of which orbited the K0-V primary and the rest orbited a red dwarf companion three billion kilometres away. The primary also had a substantial asteroid belt. Medusa-A II was a super-terrestrial world with a diameter of 27,000 km, liquid oceans covering two thirds of the surface, gravity of 1.89G and a dense nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 3.61 atm. Because the planet could support life, or perhaps an outpost of the Cerberus, a scout Raptor from Leonis was dispatched to the system and a Raptor-D drone scout was dispatched from Sol. The Jormungandr Raptor had minimal sensors and was not suitable for a sweep of the inner system, so it headed home for resupply and an overhaul.

The Raptor-SC from Leonis arrived in Medusa and took up a picket position on the Tethys jump point, while it awaited the Raptor-D. Before the second Raptor arrived on the scene, the Raptor-SC detected sensor emissions that were stronger than the main sensor of the Zeus class Battlestar. The source was a ship from a new alien race, approaching the jump point at 9,749 km/s. Once in active sensor range, the size of the ship, designated as Baphomet class, was revealed as 7,949 tons, which was concerning considering the strength of its sensor.

In case Medusa was the aliens’ home system, the Raptor transited back into Tethys to avoid a confrontation. A few minutes later, the Baphomet transited as well, so the Raptor backed off to sixty million kilometres, the maximum range from which it could monitor the Medusa jump point. The Baphomet ignored the movement of the Raptor and headed towards the system’s two planets. A few days later, another ship of the Medusa aliens, a 7559-ton vessel designated as Hecate class, transited into Tethys, followed by seven more ships of approximately 8000 tons each: four Myrkuls, two Balors and a Malagard. The aliens seemed prepared to attempt communication but the Raptor crew struggled to make any progress.



The Council of Twelve ordered the colonisation of Artemis, two transits from Medusa, to be considered the top priority for the Colonial Fleet. This would form the basis of a territorial claim, assuming that communication could be established, or a defensive position in the event that hostilities broke out. Artemis was a choke point that controlled access to Talos, Leonis and Sagittaron and could not be given up. The innermost planet would be the site of the new colony. Artemis I had liquid oceans, a surface temperature of -18C and an atmosphere of 1.09 atm that would be breathable except for 0.024 atm of carbon dioxide. The planet was larger than Earth, with slightly higher gravity, so terraforming would be slow.

Since the Church of Khazhar had accepted Colonial sovereignty of Scorpia, a considerable number of Khazhari ships of various types were detected moving through Scorpia and into Circe, mainly because a Skywatch station had recently been stationed on the Scorpia – Circe jump point. The origin of the ships was unknown, but they seemed to be moving toward the Circe jump point from the directions of the Procyon and Nineveh jump points. The only known system beyond Procyon was Rhodes, so the Battlestar Vanir was sent to the system to conduct a survey. Nineveh was further away and would be addressed after Rhodes. There had plainly been a lot of historical Khazhari traffic moving through Scorpia without detection.

Many of the returning ships were intercepted and destroyed by the Tiger Sharks and Threshers in Leoben, providing more work for Colonial salvage ships. However, the majority of the returning Khazhari ships were stationed on the Circe – Scorpia jump point, perhaps waiting for a safer opportunity to pass through Leoben to the Khazhari home system. Apart from a single Shiraz escort and three Chakai survey ships, all the waiting ships were commercial-engined, with twenty-one commercial ships totalling 900,000 tons.



On April 7th 2313, a Raptor-D transited into Medusa and detected five ships on the Tethys jump point. The largest was a 71,765 ton commercial-engined Malcanthet class, perhaps a stabilisation ship. The other four comprised a 15,860-ton Beshaba, a 15,262-ton Vhaeraun and two 8000-ton Balors, all of which had military engines. The scout launched active and passive drones at Medusa II, then disengaged its active sensor and moved away from the jump point, trying to avoid detection while it monitored the drones.

Five days later, the drones arrived in orbit. Medusa II had a huge population with thermal and EM signatures that were more than double those of Earth, which suggested in excess of five billion inhabitants. It was reasonable to assume that the number of installations on the surface would reflect that advantage in population. Orbital space around the planet was occupied by a vast fleet, including twenty-nine ships of 8,000 tons, sixty-five ships of approximately 16,000 tons, a hundred and five ships of approximately 24,000 tons and eighty-four ships between 36,000 tons and 100,000 tons. The largest ships would likely be commercial-engined, but the two hundred ships at 24,000 tons or less could quite easily be all warships. On the surface, there is a ground force signature of one point four million tons, which would represent a much larger force once fortification was taken into account. The Raptor-D headed back to the jump point and transited into Tethys.



The Council of Twelve was horrified at the military and economic power of the new alien race, especially when the Twelve Colonies already faced a deadly threat from the Cylons. Establishing communication and subsequent peaceful relations would be vital for the long-term survival of the human race. The Council forbade any offensive operations against the Cylons or Cerberus until the immediate situation in Medusa, Tethys and Artemis was resolved. The Twelve Colonies had now encountered ten alien races, four of which had been hostile: the Stave Commonality, the Cerberus, the Raiders and the Cylons. Four were neutral, the Church of Khazhar, the Kogari Dominion, the Federated States of Remus and the Cetacean Council, while the Talosians were now fully fledged members of the Twelve Colonies. The status of the tenth race was yet to be determined.

On May 17th, by which time a colony of one million was in place on Artemis I, communications were established with the aliens in the Medusa system, via an Armistice class diplomatic station on the Tethys – Medusa jump point. The aliens called themselves the Dark Star Imperium and their appearance was even more alarming than their chosen nomenclature. They were tall, powerful humanoids with grey, leathery skin. Their heads were large and partially elongated, with a row of spikes extending from the sides and a disproportionately-sized mouth, filled with rows of long, spiked teeth. Colonial Intelligence was confident they weren’t herbivores. Now that the Twelve Colonies could talk to the Imperium, the most important subject would be the status of the Artemis system.



Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2022, 08:32:06 AM »
(1st of 2 posts today)

In Leoben, the eight Cetacean Tiger Shark heavy cruisers and four Thresher escort cruisers that had been stationed at the Leoben – Bellerophon jump point for several months now moved to the Leoben – Khazhar jump point, which would prevent any Khazhari ships from leaving their home system. Elsewhere in Leoben, on a direct line between the Khazhar and Circe jump points, the energy weapon impacts from a brief battle were detected by a Colonial scout, resulting in the destruction of two Khazhari Jalalabad troop transports.

A Cetacean Pike class scout transited into Leoben from Bellerophon then moved to the Khazhar jump point and transited into the Khazhari home system. The Colonial Skywatch base stationed on the Leoben – Khazhar jump point risked a brief transit into the system to investigate. Two Pike wrecks were on the jump point, along with sixteen Khazhari Tehran class ships, believed to be their largest warship at 21,000 tons, plus six Basra escort cruisers, three Herat class destroyers and a Shiraz class escort. The Church of Khazhar may have been taking losses in Leoben and Bellerophon, but their home system seemed to have a solid defence force on the Leoben jump point.

A few days later, a Pike class scout entered Circe from Leoben, the first time any Cetacean ship had been detected in the system. There were many Khazhari ships gathered on the Circe – Scorpia jump point, having travelled from somewhere beyond Scorpia but obviously wary of continuing their journey home due to the presence of Cetacean forces in Leoben. Those ships now headed for the Circe – Talos jump point. Why that was deemed to be a safer location than the Scorpia jump point was unknown.

The Battlestar Valkyrie was stationed on the Leoben – Bellerophon jump point, from where its survey Raptors were attempting to locate the Cetacean home system. A single outward jump from Bellerophon led to Poseidon, which  had eight planets, none of which were a candidate for a home world. The Cetacean Council had requested that Colonial forces leave Poseidon but the Council of Twelve decided to ignore that request until more astrographic information was available. Two outward jump points were discovered in Poseidon, which were probed in July and September respectively.

The first connected to Arcadia, a system with a G-class star and a single barren terrestrial world. The second led to a vast system, which was probably the home system of the Cetacean Council and on that basis was named Cetacea. In orbit of the G5-IV sub-giant primary were six planets, fifty moons and more than eleven hundred asteroids in six dense belts. The third planet was an Earth-sized world with liquid oceans, a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 1.2 atm and a temperature of 17C. A Raptor-D was summoned from Earth to launch drones at the planet. The Raptor-G that made the discovery transited back into Poseidon to avoid causing a serious incident with the Cetacean Council. Several hours later, the Raptor detected a new type of Cetacean ship, a 6,785-ton Candiru, transiting into Poseidon from Cetacea.

Drones were fired at Cetacea II in late October, revealing a population signature similar to that of Earth and confirming Cetacea II as the home world of the Cetacean Council. A large number of ships were detected, although nothing on the scale of the Dark Star Imperium. In total, there were twenty-two ships between 20,000 and 26,000 tons, sixteen ships between 10,000 and 17,000 tons and three Moray class ships of 8500 tons. There were no large commercial ships in orbit, so those were probably deployed elsewhere, and a considerable military force was deployed in Bellerophon and Leoben.



On November 8th 2313, two Cetacean Thresher class ships, disabled in previous engagements, were destroyed in Leoben by a Khazhari force of two Jalalabad troop transports, two Basra class escort cruisers and three Shiraz class escorts, en route from the Circe jump point toward the Khazhar jump point. The main Cetacean force in the system, eight Tiger Sharks and three Threshers, intercepted the Cetacean force and destroyed the two Basras. The other five ships quickly surrendered, so the Cetaceans gained three Shiraz class escorts plus the two troop transports.

Concurrently with the events in the systems around Leoben, the Dark Star Imperium continued to advance toward Colonial Space. In July 2313, an Imperium Baphomet class, an 8000-ton ship believed to be a scout, transited into Artemis, which was only two transits from Talos and three transits from both Leonis and Sagittaron. By this point, the Artemis Colony had a population of three point eight million, due to an all-out colonisation effort by the Colonial Fleet, and the Zeus class Battlestars Athena and Galactica were on station. Twelve AK-25B railguns and four gauss installations were on the surface. The Council of Twelve wished to increase the population further before issuing a territorial claim, so the scout was allowed to remain.

Nine days later, two 8,600-ton Mammon class, believed to be geosurvey ships, also arrived in Artemis. Several more ships followed, while Colonial colony ships and freighters continued to build up the Artemis Colony. Finally, on August 20th, with the population of the colony at four point eight million, the Council of Twelve declared that the Artemis system lay within the territory of the Twelve Colonies and requested that all Imperium forces leave the system. To the great relief of the Council and the Colonial Fleet, the Dark Star Imperium accepted the Colonial claim on Artemis. As the system was a choke point, the powerful Dark Star Imperium was now cut-off from the rest of Colonial space, at least until they found a different route.

A Raptor-G operating direct from Earth was surveying systems beyond the Thermopylae – Lyceum jump point, in an attempt to find the extent of Cylon territory. A Cylon Biovore was encountered on the Lyceum – Triton jump point, but the 3,400-ton ship appeared to be unarmed and quickly passed out of sensor range due to its speed of 8,700 km/s. The Raptor began a survey of Stratos, the only known system beyond Triton, and was destroyed close to the second of three planets, none of which had any air or water. A subsequent mission by a Raptor-D drone scout detected three Cerberus bases, a Vindicator, Terror and Enforcer, plus a FAC Flotilla, in orbit of the planet.

A second Raptor-G, operating from the Battlestar Fenrir, was attacked and destroyed in the Alexandria system, three transits beyond Thermopylae via Ixion and Epicurus. Alexandria was a binary system with nine planets, five of which orbited the G5-V primary. The Raptor was destroyed in orbit of Alexandria-A III, a cold desert world with a thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and a temperature of -13C. Small lakes covered five percent of the surface. A Raptor-D was dispatched from Earth but found nothing. The loss of the Raptor remained a mystery.

Only three systems in known space had seven jump points: Sol, Pandora and Electra. The first was the home world of humanity, while the second was a key junction system that bordered the territory of the Kogari Dominion. A colony was established on Pandora I soon after first contact with the Kogari. The planet had no mineral deposits and was not suitable for terraforming, so the function of the colony was to lay claim on the system and support a military base. The Battlestar Asgard was permanently assigned to the colony, along with two independent Viper squadrons and two full Marine regiments.

Electra was only three transits from Pandora, via Talos and Styx and also via Caprica and Socrates, although the latter route was much longer due to the size of the Caprica system. Electra was effectively a hub for future exploration, with five jump points leading out into unknown space. Five systems had been explored beyond the Myra jump point and seven beyond the Tanagra jump point, including the Cerberus system of Diogenes. The other three jump points led to Hermes, Larissa and Odessos, all of which had to yet to undergo gravitational surveys. As the recently surveyed ruins in the adjacent Socrates system had produced considerable amount of infrastructure, the Council of Twelve decided to create a new colony on Electra I, using the infrastructure from Socrates and colonists from Earth. The Electra Colony would provide an early warning outpost for threats emerging from deep space, plus a future base for surveying.

On December 13th 2313, a Mortis class ship of the Raiders was detected in Aeolus by a Colonial listening post on the first moon of Aeolus II. The Battlestar Ragnarok was already in Aeolus, stationed four hundred and fifty million kilometres away near the Tau Ceti jump point, which was the border with the Stave Commonality. Ragnarok launched her thirty Viper MK Is, which had a range of seven hundred and eighty million kilometres, and followed them toward the inner system. The Mortis detected the fighters at seven million kilometres and turned to run. The fighters had a speed of 8000 km/s compared to 4737 km/s for the Mortis, so they quickly closed the range on the fleeing ship. Two Vipers were lost during the approach. The rest quickly overwhelmed the Raider ship.

As the fighters were returning to the Ragnarok, a new contact was detected. So far, the Mortis class had been the only Raider ship type. The listening post detected thermal engine emissions from a new ship type, designated as  Aristarchus class. The commander of Ragnarok was Colonel Maya Tegyrios, a twenty year veteran who had served as the Chief Engineer of the Battlestar Pacifica and the XO of the Battlestar Columbia, both of which were Galactica class at the time, before being assigned to Ragnarok, a Valkyrie II, in July 2308 as her first command,. She decided to land the fighters, as they were low on fuel, then take the Battlestar closer to the new contact. She also requested support from Sol, which was adjacent to Aeolus, in case this new contact represented a major change in the behaviour of the Raiders.



The Battle Fleet in Earth orbit was understrength. As the Cylons were quiet and the Dark Star Imperium had agreed to recognise Colonial possession of the Artemis system, the Council of Twelve had agreed to dispatch four Zeus class Battlestars to Leonidas, three jumps out from Pandora, to deal with the Cerberus presence in that system. That deployment left eight Battlestars at Earths, only five of which were Zeus or Galactica class. The status of Battlestar deployments at the time of contact with the Raiders were as follows:

Battle Fleet (Earth)
Zeus class Battlestar: Artemis, Columbia, Hades
Galactica II class Battlestar: Apollo, Pacifica
Valkyrie - M class Battlestar: Aesir, Heimdall
Valkyrie II class Battlestar: Baldur

Leonidas Attack Force (Pandora)
Zeus class Battlestar: Galactica, Pegasus, Solaris, Zeus

Proxima Defence Force (Thermopylae)
Zeus class Battlestar: Ares, Hephaestus
Valkyrie - M class Battlestar: Thor

Individual Deployments - Zeus
Artemis: Athena

Individual Deployments - Galactica II
Leonis: Atlantia
Caprica: Acropolis

Individual Deployments - Asgard
Talos: Midgard
Sagittaron: Jotunheim
Scorpia: Vanaheim
Pandora: Asgard

Survey Deployments – Valkyrie IIs
Thermopylae: Fenrir
Sol: Kraken (OV)
Leoben: Valkyrie
Rhodes: Vanir

Colonel Tegyrios’ old ship, the Battlestar Pacifica, was dispatched as a reinforcement to Aeolus. Twenty minutes after it departed, another Raider ship was detected in Aeolus, this time with a much larger commercial engine signature, and was designated as Hipparchus class. The two Valkyrie-Ms in Earth orbit, Aesir and Heimdall, were ordered to follow Pacifica.

Three hours after the destruction of the Mortis, the situation changed yet again. Two military-engined ships, designated as Clavius class, appeared between the listening post and the two commercial-engined ships. The reinforcements from Earth were nine days away, so for now this was down to Ragnarok and its twenty-eight remaining Viper MK Is. The Battlestar itself had four AK-20B railguns and a pair of gauss cannon turrets.

Valkyrie II class Battlestar      37,500 tons       743 Crew       5,014.3 BP       TCS 750    TH 3,000    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 5-99       Shields 0-0       HTK 210      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 33      PPV 60.64
Maint Life 2.55 Years     MSP 2,762    AFR 341%    IFR 4.7%    1YR 594    5YR 8,914    Max Repair 375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 12,000 tons     
Colonel    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 30 months    Flight Crew Berths 240    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-750 Ion Drive (4)    Power 3000    Fuel Use 24.49%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,477,000 Litres    Range 28.9 billion km (83 days at full power)

Ares Kinetics AK-20B Railgun (4x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Ares Kinetics G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turret (2x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Hyperion R256-S4 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s   
Hyperion R64-S16 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s   
R-8 Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 16.6    Exp 5%

Artemis-60 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 10080     Range 62.5m km    Resolution 120
Artemis-5M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Themis EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
Themis TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km



Seventy-five minutes later, two Mortis class ships were detected in company with the two Clavius, along with two ships of another new type, designated as Eudoxus class. The comparative engine signatures suggested the Clavius was twice as large as the Mortis and Eudoxus classes, which presumably meant twice as well armed. It seemed highly unlikely that the twenty-eight MK I Vipers on the Battlestar Ragnarok would be sufficient. Colonial Fleet Command ordered Colonel Tegyrios to hold her ship back from the listening post and await the reinforcements. The remaining Valkyrie II at Earth, the Battlestar Baldur, was added to those reinforcements, leaving only four Battlestars in orbit of Earth.



Colonel Tegyrios decided to interpret her orders creatively. While holding the range open as ordered, she began to move her ship parallel to the course of the Raiders, but in the opposite direction, so that a raid could be mounted against the slower commercial-engined ships in the rear. She also ordered her active sensor to be disengaged to reduce the chance of detection. Meanwhile, the leading group of six military-armed ships picked up the life pods from the two destroyed Vipers, but instead of heading for the listening post, they started to move across the inner system with no apparent destination in mind.



The Aristarchus class had vanished from thermal sensors, so Colonel Tegyrios launched a single Viper with orders to close within a million kilometres of the Hipparchus class and see what other ships might be escorting it. Once within range, the Viper engaged its active sensor and determined the size of the Hipparchus to be 109,000 tons. Four Mortis and two Eudoxus class ships were detected in close proximity, presumably providing an escort for the larger ship. Although only the Mortis was a known warship, it was a reasonable assumption that all the military-engined ships were also armed, which meant there were twelve Raider warships in Aeolus, possibly more if the missing Aristarchus also had escorts.



After a few manoeuvres around the inner system, the main Raider warship group had moved into orbit of Aeolus II, although there had been no attempt to fire on the listening post. The appearance of the Viper caused the six ships to break orbit and head toward it, so Colonel Tegyrios ordered the fighter to disengage active sensors and return to the Ragnarok. The Raider warships disappeared from passive sensors as they moved away from the listening post, so the Ragnarok reversed course to avoid stumbling into them. After a couple of hours, the Raiders reappeared, on a course back to the listening post.



The Raider warship group moved into obit of Aeolus II, while the Hipparchus and its escorts moved to the wreck of the Mortis. Several days later, the wreck of the Mortis disappeared, so Colonial Intelligence designated the Hipparchus as a salvage vessel. The two Viper wrecks were salvaged shortly thereafter, at which point the Hipparchus ceased all movement. On December 23rd 2313 the Colonial reinforcements entered Aeolus from Sol and began moving toward the Raider ships. A Dragonscale class freighter also entered the system, returning from the Tauron colony with minerals.



Simultaneously with the events in Aeolus, the Zeus class Battlestars Galactica, Pegasus, Solaris and Zeus transited into Leonidas and headed for the Cerberus outpost on a moon of the third planet. As they approached the Cerberus moon, the Battlestars expected a long-range missile attack from the Terror class base, armed with anti-ship missiles, but none was forthcoming. The other two bases, an Enforcer and a Vindicator class, were armed with AMMs and gauss cannon turrets respectively.

Missile attacks finally begin two point five million kilometres from the target, comprising three waves of seventy-seven AMMs with a speed of 69,400 km/s and a single wave of seventy-six anti-ship missiles with a speed of 32,000 km. In total, the Battlestars had twenty-four gauss cannon turrets and eighty railguns for point defence, along with two hundred and eighty Vipers flying close escort. There were no hits. As the Colonial force continued to close the range, a ground forces signature of 3,900 ton was detected on the moon.

The missile attack restarted at 485,000 km, with many waves of AMMs and an occasional wave of anti-ship missiles. The missiles were supported by thirteen ground-based 37.5cm lasers, which began attacking at 380,000 km. The dominant terrain of the moon was savanna, which was far less suited to defence than the jungle-covered mountains of Caprica IV or the dense forests of Socrates II. The Battlestars engaged the laser emplacements and destroyed them all with four railgun salvos, sustaining only shield damage in return.

The hail of AMMs continued, albeit without penetrating the wall of defensive fire provided by the gauss cannon turrets and fighter escort. The Battlestars turned their railguns on the gauss-armed Vindicator and blew it to pieces. Once the AMMs ceased the fleet moved closer, in preparation for assaulting the two remaining bases with marines, and came under attack from surface-based gauss cannon. The Battlestars retreated out of range and destroyed them with railgun fire, then moved to just 15,000 km from the moon and launched assault shuttles. Both stations were captured within a few minutes. The Terror still retained four hundred and fifty anti-ship missiles. All that remained on the surface was a ground combat signature of 1200 tons, probably the close protection element for the surface-to-orbit weapons

At 7pm on Christmas Day, the Colonial forces in Aeolus were consolidated into a single fleet comprising the Galactica class Battlestar Pacifica, the Valkyrie II class Battlestars Baldur and Ragnarok and the Valkyrie-M class Battlestars Aesir and Heimdall. Proceeding without active sensors, they started to circle around the inner system, with the intention of moving between the Raiders and their origin point. This prompted movement from the squadron of six warships, which headed in the general direction of the Battlestars, while the two commercial-engined ships, including the Aristarchus which was now back on sensors, began to run in the direction from which they arrived.

Aeolus Attack Force
Galactica II class Battlestar: Pacifica
Valkyrie II class Battlestar: Baldur, Ragnarok
Valkyrie - M class Battlestar: Aesir, Heimdall
3x Raptor-MB class Assault Transport
24x Raptor-A class Corvette
1x Raptor-M class Assault Transport
2x Raptor-SB class Scout
3x Raptor-SC class Scout
1x Raptor-SE class Scout
58x Viper MK I class Fighter
70x Viper MK II class Fighter



Commander Pandora Delas of the Pacifica was the senior office in Aeolus. As it was obvious the Raiders had detected her force, she ordered all sensors active and set an intercept course for the most distant Raider ship, the Aristarchus. She also ordered the twenty-four Raptor-A missile corvettes to launch from Aesir and Heimdall and launch a strike on the warship group. They had four hundred and thirty-two Theseus missiles. As soon as the Colonial sensors went active, the Raider warships turned to flee at 4737 km/s, faster than the Battlestars but not the Raptor-As, which had a maximum speed of 7500 km/s.

Because of the Raider stealth systems, the Raptor-As had to move within 260,000 kilometres to achieve a lock on all six warships. As the Clavius were twice the size of the other ships, they were each targeted by six Raptor-As, with eighteen missiles each, while the two Mortis and two Eudoxus class ships were targeted by three Raptors each. The difficulties encountered in destroying the small Cylon craft in the recent battle in Sol had given the Colonial Fleet a lack of confidence in missile warfare, so the massive attack wave proved to be overkill. Twenty-one missiles were hit by energy-based point defence and one hundred and ninety missed the wildly-evading Raiders. The remaining two hundred and twenty-one struck their targets. Half the number of hits would have been sufficient. The large Clavius class ships were destroyed by twenty-eight and thirty-eight hits respectively, but none of the smaller Mortis and Eudoxus class ships survived more than a dozen hits. They appeared to be very lightly armoured.

Two scout Raptors were launched from the fleet, while the missile Raptors returned to their Battlestars. The first was an older Raptor-SB send to shadow the Hipparchus. The Aristarchus had disappeared from sensors once again, so the other scout, a brand new Raptor-SE with better active sensors than any of the five Battlestars in the fleet, was send ahead to search for it.



While the corvettes were re-arming, Commander Delas launched all her Vipers, comprising seventy MK IIs and fifty-eight MK Is, in a strike against the Hipparchus and its escort of four Mortis and two Eudoxus. Four Vipers were destroyed at 144,000 km. A further six were lost at 18,000 km in an exchange of fire that destroyed both Eudoxus class ships. Once at point blank range, the Vipers quickly overwhelmed the Raider ships, eliminating all four Mortis for the cost of two more Vipers.

As the Hipparchus appears to be unarmed, three Raptor-M assault transports were dispatched from the Battlestar force to attempt a boarding action. With the Raptor-Ms only minutes away from interception and with a solid active contact on the Hipparchus, it suddenly vanished without a trace. Usually, a jump point transit would be immediately detected, along with the jump point itself, if the ship was on active sensors. In this case, the Raider ship had apparently transited a hidden jump point, or had some alternative form of interstellar travel.

Initially, all Colonial forces converged on the location. However, after a lengthy search there was no evidence of any Raider ships remaining in the system. The Aristarchus had presumably escaped through the same anomaly. The Battlestar Baldur was detached to take up the standard picket station near Tau Ceti jump point. The other Battlestars remained near the disappearance point for a while, but one by one they eventually returned to Sol over the following months, leaving the listening post to resume its lonely vigil.

In January 2314, a colony of one million was established on the ninth moon of Sparta-A I. The Mars-sized moon, which had a thin nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere and ice sheets covering sixty percent of the surface, was the site of an ancient construct that would improve construction and production research by forty percent. The colony would also provide a forward base for further exploitation of the valuable Sparta system and logistical support for an attack on the adjacent, Cerberus-held system of Orpheus.

Sparta was a trinary system, with a sub-giant primary and two red dwarves, located eight transits from Sol via Aeolus, Tauron, Deimos, Astraeus, Cassandra, Pergamon and Helios. Two planets orbiting the B component had breathable atmospheres, including one with fifty-six million tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium, although both were very cold and required terraforming. The first two planets of the primary each had a moon with substantial Duranium deposits, along with accessible deposits of several other minerals. Sparta-C II was a gas giant with twelve million tons of accessibility 1.0 Sorium. Thus far, the distance of Sparta from Sol and the requirement for the Twelve Colonies to deal with imminent threats and opportunities closer to home had prevented exploitation of the system. That was beginning to change and Sparta would see more attention in the future.

Sparta-A I - Moon 4 Survey Report (Colony Cost 3.8)
Duranium:   4,274,888   0.70
Corbomite:   534,361   0.30
Tritanium:   2,663,424   0.30
Boronide:   1,803,649   1.00
Corundium:   374,544   0.80
Gallicite:   534,361   0.90

Sparta-A II - Moon 5 Survey Report (Colony Cost 4.2)
Duranium:   10,396,800   0.90
Neutronium:   4,260,096   0.50
Tritanium:   3,326,976   0.10
Boronide:   627,264   0.10
Mercassium:   968,256   0.60
Vendarite:   451,584   0.80
Gallicite:   5,184   0.60

Sparta-B II Survey Report (Colony Cost 0.5)
Duranium:   10,179,072   0.30
Neutronium:   8,219,689   0.50
Corbomite:   565,504   0.10
Tritanium:   6,682,225   0.60
Boronide:   14,853,316   1.00
Mercassium:   883,600   0.70
Vendarite:   3,359,889   0.80
Sorium:   3,534,400   0.50
Uridium:   14,853,316   0.10
Corundium:   3,896,676   0.10
Gallicite:   715,716   0.10

Sparta-B III Survey Report (Colony Cost 0.8)
Duranium:   56,010,528   1.00
Mercassium:   33,593,616   0.10
Vendarite:   9,922,500   0.10
Sorium:   28,005,264   0.10
Gallicite:   17,816,841   0.10

Four days after the colony was established, Raptors from the Battlestar Vanir found a new link from known space to Orpheus and Sparta. After the Church of Khazhar accepted the Colonial claim on the Scorpia system, a number of Khazhari ships had entered Scorpia from Procyon on their way home. Vanir was trying to discover the origin of the Khazhari ships and what the Church of Khazhar had found that was so interesting. Procyon connected to Barnard’s Star, which was adjacent to Sol, and to Rhodes, an unsurveyed red dwarf binary. Vanir had arrived in Rhodes in March 2313 and her Raptors had located a single outward jump point, resulting in the discovery of the Achaea system in July 2313.

A survey of Achaea was completed in January 2314. Two new jump points were found. The first led to a planetless brown dwarf, designated as Petra. The second connected to the known Acanthus system, which was adjacent to Orpheus and two jumps from Sparta. This created a new route from Sol to Sparta via Bernard’s Star, Procyon, Rhodes, Achaea, Acanthus and Orpheus. However, the new route was longer with a distance of twenty-nine billion kilometres compared to twenty billion for the existing route, mainly due to the size of the Procyon system, plus it passed through the Cerberus-held Orpheus system.

The discovery prompted a scouting mission into Orpheus to check on the Cerberus presence, which revealed the presence of fifteen Khazhari wrecks in the system. They were presumably victims of the Cerberus as the wrecks all lay on the orbital path of the B component and the known Cerberus forces in the system were in orbit of Orpheus-B I. A salvage ship was dispatched to Sparta with the aim of beginning salvage operations once the M3-V companion star had moved far enough away for the Colonial ship to avoid detection.

Later in 2314, another new link was found to Orpheus. The Astraeus system was halfway along the original route to Sparta and had five jump points. Considerable surveying had been conducted beyond three of the four outward jump points, with new systems discovered at least three transits out in every direction. However, the unremarkable Thasos system, which lay beyond Astraeus’ third jump point, had been overlooked. That was corrected in mid-2314 by survey Raptors operating directly from Earth. Thasos had two outward jump points, one of which led to the equally unremarkable red dwarf system of Chalcedon. A survey of that system found three new jump points, one of which connected directly to Orpheus. This created a slightly shorter route from Sol to Orpheus, but was still a longer route to Sparta.

January 2314 also saw fleet movements from both the Dark Star Imperium and the Cetacean Council. A large Imperium force comprising nine warships and fifteen 65,000-ton Belial class ships entered Tethys, which lay between Artemis and the Dark Star home system of Medusa. The Belials were potentially fuel harvesters as Tethys II was a gas giant with nineteen million tons of accessibility 0.9 Sorium. A Cetacean force of four Barracuda class light cruisers, a Thresher class escort cruiser and two Manta class escorts transited into Leoben from Bellerophon and moved to join the large Cetacean force on the Leoben - Khazhar jump point.

In February 2314, the Cylons reappeared. Fifty-one Cylon ships transited into Thermopylae from Artemisium, comprising thirty-nine Termagaunts armed with acid-lasers, eight Hormagaunts armed with microwave weapons and four Spinegaunts, which Colonial Intelligence believed were unarmed scouts. The Colonial forces in the system comprised the Zeus class Battlestars Columbia and Hades and the Valkyrie-M class Battlestar Thor, all of which were stationed on the Thermopylae – Proxima jump point. Their combined strikegroups included one hundred and thirty Viper MK IIIs, five Cobra MK IIs and twelve Raptor-A missile corvettes. The Battlestar Fenrir, a Valkyrie II, was also in the system, but her strikegroup was configured for survey operations so she could only contribute fifteen Viper MK Is and her four railguns.



The senior officer in Thermopylae was Commander Perseus Rhadamanthys of the Battlestar Hades, a highly educated officer from a wealthy family who was popular with his crews. He had previously commanded the Battlestar Asgard and served as executive officer on the Fenrir and the Columbia, before taking command of the Hades in 2309. Rhadamanthys had no intention of being caught in deep space against a much faster opponent so he decided to hold position at the Proxima jump point and request assistance. The Battlestars that had been deployed to Leonidas and Aeolus were all back at Earth, except for the Battlestar Zeus, which remained in Leonidas, and the Battlestar Pacifica, which remained in Aeolus. However, five of the six Zeus class Battlestars in Earth orbit were undergoing overhauls and the single Galactica and three Valkyries could not leave Earth under those circumstances.

The Colonial Fleet faced many threats, both actual and potential, and was spread too thin. No new Battlestars had been constructed for two years and none were under construction. A combination of dwindling mineral resources, a wealth crisis and the recent development of new technology, including Magneto-Plasma Drives and Laminate Composite Armour, had led to a lack of new construction. New engines were being designed and a new, larger Battlestar would soon be designed, but it would take several years to retool shipyards and build the new ships. In the meantime, the Colonial Fleet had to manage with what was available. For now, Commander Rhadamanthys was ordered to hold the Proxima jump point with the forces he had available.

The fifty-one Cylon ships ignored the Skywatch station near the jump point and headed in the general direction of the Ixion jump point, where the ex-Stave Dragonfire class stabilisation ship was at work. Even though it was less than twenty days from completing its task, the Dragonfire was ordered to run for the Proxima jump point. A second group of Cylon fast attack craft, identical to the first, transited into Thermopylae from Artemisium a few days later and departed in the same direction as the first group.

Commander Rhadamanthys began to wonder if the Cylons were engaging with some alien force somewhere in Ixion or beyond so he ordered a scout Raptor to be launched to monitor the Thermopylae - Ixion jump point. Meanwhile, a Raptor-D returning from a mission to Alexandria to investigate the loss of a survey Raptor entered Thermopylae from Ixion and left two drones near the jump point. In the early hours of February 16th, the drones detected the second group of Cylon ships moving to the Ixion jump point. They remained in that location for several days and were detected by the scout dispatched from the Battlestars. For the moment, there appeared to be no immediate threat to Proxima in particular or the Twelve Colonies in general.

In April, a dozen Outpost class Sensor platforms were completed in Earth orbit. The new platforms would replace the older, smaller Skywatch platforms and had far more capable sensors. The Artemis-133C Active Sensor had one third greater range than the main sensor of the Zeus class Battlestar and could detects ships of 6000 tons or more at a distance of one hundred and thirty-three million kilometres. Unlike the Skywatch platforms, the Outpost was based on a military hull that would require maintenance, so one sixth of the internal space was dedicated to engineering and crew quarters to enable long deployment times. Eleven were deployed to colonies to provide early warning of threats. The twelfth was deployed at the Leoben – Bellerophon jump point, from where it could also cover the Leoben – Khazhar jump point. Construction began on twelve more Outposts.

Outpost class Sensor Platform      1,000 tons       36 Crew       316.7 BP       TCS 20    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 9      Sensors 6/11/0/0      DCR 2      PPV 0
Maint Life 14.93 Years     MSP 496    AFR 4%    IFR 0.1%    1YR 4    5YR 63    Max Repair 210 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 150 months    Morale Check Required   

Artemis-8MC Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 21     Range 8.6m km    MCR 771.7k km    Resolution 1
Artemis-133C Active Sensor (1)     GPS 25200     Range 133.7m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-11C Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  26.2m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

In May 2314, ground combat began on the second moon of Leonidas-A III. The Cerberus space-based forces and surface-to-orbit weapons had been eliminated five months earlier so it was now up the Colonial Marine Corps to secure the surface. The Corps had recently undergone a reorganization, with the smallest manoeuvre unit changing from a battalion to a regiment in 2312. The new 2312 Regiment comprised 2500 Colonial Marines, a fifth of which were armed with light machine guns, supported by one hundred Centaur AFVs and forty supply vehicles. A new formation, the Marine Division, comprising two hundred medium howitzers and two hundred supply vehicles, would serve as the command element for four regiments. The existing marine battalions were amalgamated into regiments, although some used anti-tank sections instead of Centaurs and others were understrength due to combat losses, while the previous regimental-level artillery became part of newly-formed divisions.

The force assembled to take the Cerberus moon comprised three amalgamated regiments and an amalgamated division, with the Battlestar Zeus providing orbital fire support. The enemy force comprised approximately three hundred and fifty mechs, probably a covering force for the surface-based weapons, and the terrain was open Savanna, which did not lend itself to effective fortification. The battle was over in two days with only minor losses for the Colonial Marines. A subsequent geological survey revealed a Ruined Settlement.

On May 16th, the Kogari Dominion informed the Council of Twelve that the Twelve Colonies were regarded as a friendly power and could therefore use their jump ships for transit if required. They would also provide geosurvey data for mutually known systems. In response, the Twelve Colonies also deemed the Dominion to be a friendly power, but held off on sharing survey data. Known Kogari space comprised four systems beyond the Pandora – Archimedes jump point, although that did not include the Dominion home system. Phaedra, a fifth system in the same area, was held by the Cerberus, despite Kogari attempts to invade.

In August 2314, the Cetacean Council withdrew eight Tiger Shark heavy cruisers, their most powerful known warships, and three Thresher escort cruisers from Leoben, leaving a much smaller force of four Barracuda light cruisers, one Thresher and two Manta escorts at the Leoben – Khazhar jump point. The Tiger Sharks and their escorts moved through Bellerophon and into Poseidon, at which point Colonial forces lost contact. The heavy cruisers had been operating successfully in Leoben for two years before their sudden departure. The Cetacean rationale for the re-deployment was unknown, although Colonial Intelligence suggested that a new threat may have appeared somewhere else in Cetacean space. The Khazhari tested the reduced Cetacean force by transiting two Herat class destroyers into Leoben. Both were quickly destroyed by the remaining Cetacean ships.

After a quiet period in Thermopylae, Cylon activity resumed in March 2315 with the transit of two Biovores and a Lictor through the Ixion jump point and their return to Thermopylae a few weeks later. Colonial Fleet Command was reluctant to move one of the two Zeus class Battlestars protecting the Proxima jump point, and the Ixion jump point was too far to cover with Vipers, so instead they sent a Hermes class fighter transport with eight Viper MK IIIs and two assault transports. When one of the Biovores re-appeared the fighters intercepted and disabled it, allowing the assault transports to conduct a boarding action and capture the ship. A second Biovore was attacked a few days later, but was destroyed due a secondary explosion. As with all Cylon ships, it left no wreckage.

Biovore class Survey Ship      3,451 tons       1 Crew       689.8 BP       TCS 69    TH 600    EM 0
8693 km/s    JR 4-50      Armour 1-20       Shields 0-0       HTK 17      Sensors 28/28/0/3      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 0 Years     MSP 0    AFR 690%    IFR 9.6%    1YR 578    5YR 8,668    Max Repair 112.5 MSP
Major    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 0 days    Morale Check Required   

J3895.0(4-50) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 3895.0 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 4
Inertial Fusion Drive  EP300.00 (2)    Power 600    Fuel Use 11.55%    Signature 300    Explosion 7%

CIWS-250 (1x10)    Range 1000 km     TS: 25,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Thermal Sensor TH2-28 (1)     Sensitivity 28     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  41.8m km
EM Sensor EM2-28 (1)     Sensitivity 28     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  41.8m km
Geological Survey Sensors (3)   3 Survey Points Per Hour

On April 28th 2315, the Battlestar Valkyrie arrived at the Leoben – Khazhar jump point after a recent overhaul and launched three gravitational survey Raptors into the Khazhari home system. With the recent military victories of the Cetacean Council and the discovery of Khazhari wrecks in Orpheus, the Church of Khazhar was deemed by Colonial Intelligence to be a reduced threat. Therefore, the Council of Twelve authorised incursions into Khazhar to gain intelligence and test the Khazhari reaction.

Ten days later, a Virgon class salvage ship transited into Khazhar to salvage some of the Cetacean wrecks on the Khazhar  - Leoben jump point, which included a Thresher escort cruiser, seven Pike class scouts and a Gourami class ship of unknown capability. The Khazhari defence force at the jump point comprised sixteen 21,000-ton Tehran class, assumed to be a heavy cruiser, four Dushanbe light cruisers, seven Basra class escort cruisers, three Herat class destroyers and three Shiraz class escorts.

When provided with the latest update, a junior analyst at Colonial Intelligence noted that a Colonial fleet could transit into Khazhar without being fired upon, although it would be asked to leave immediately, then launch a surprise attack on the defenders. That would allow the Cetaceans into the system and potentially eliminate, or at least render ineffective, one of the neutral alien races. It was also likely the Cetaceans would suffer losses if they moved against the Khazhar home world, reducing the potential threat from them too. The report was passed up the chain to the Council of Twelve for further consideration.

The first new jump point in Khazhar was found quickly. A Raptor-G from the Battlestar Valkyrie conducted the probe and discovered Olympus, a binary system of two G8-IV sub giant stars. Both stars had four planets and each had a terrestrial world with liquid oceans and a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere, although neither was breathable for humans. Both worlds were cold, with Tundra and Sub-Arctic as the dominant terrains. Meanwhile, two new Khazhari forces, each comprising eight Tehran class heavy cruisers and three Basra class escorts, arrived at the Khazhar – Leoben jump point from the direction of the inner system. The Church seemed be assembling a huge force, possibly for a counter-attack. The Khazhari then demanded that the Colonial salvage ship leave or be fired up. It departed shortly thereafter, after salvaging the Gourami wreck.



Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2022, 08:32:46 AM »
(2nd of 2 posts today)

On May 17th 2315, a Gryphonicon class survey ship of the Stave Commonality transited into Aeolus from Tau Ceti. The Battlestar Baldur was on picket duty and dispatched fighters to intercept. As it had been a while since the last contact with the Commonality, the C.O. of Baldur, Colonel Midas Macaria, decided to dispatch a single Viper with a volunteer pilot into Tau Ceti to determine if the Stave fleet was still on the jump point. The Viper transited and found nothing except the wrecks of two Colonial Raptors. The absence of the Commonality defence fleet caused a furore at Colonial Fleet Headquarters.

As usual when a threat or opportunity presented itself, the Colonial Fleet was short on resources. Four Zeus class Battlestars were en route to Diogenes, four jumps out from Talos, to eliminate a Cerberus base. Three Zeus, two Galacticas and all three Valkyrie-Ms were in Earth orbit, with two more Zeus deployed in Thermopylae to guard against the Cylon threat. All the other Battlestars were deployed at various colonies.

Battle Fleet (Earth)
Zeus class Battlestar: Artemis, Hades, Hephaestus
Galactica II class Battlestar: Apollo, Pacifica
Valkyrie - M class Battlestar: Aesir, Heimdall, Thor

Diogenes Attack Force (Talos)
Zeus class Battlestar: Galactica, Pegasus, Solaris, Zeus

Proxima Defence Force (Thermopylae)
Zeus class Battlestar: Ares, Columbia

Individual Deployments - Zeus
Artemis: Athena

Individual Deployments - Galactica II
Leonis: Atlantia
Caprica: Acropolis

Individual Deployments - Asgard
Talos: Midgard
Sagittaron: Jotunheim
Scorpia: Vanaheim
Pandora: Asgard

Individual Deployments - Valkyrie II
Aeolus: Baldur
Sparta-B III: Ragnarok

Survey Deployments – Valkyrie II
Achaea: Fenrir
Leonidas: Kraken
Leoben: Valkyrie
Earth: Vanir

Colonial Fleet Command recalled the four Zeus class Battlestars en route to Diogenes, which were in Talos, and ordered them to refuel at Earth before moving into Tau Ceti. The survey-configured Vanir, which had just completed an overhaul at Earth, was ordered to begin survey operations in Tau Ceti while Baldur was ordered into Tau Ceti to hold the jump point to Aeolus until reinforcements arrived. All three Valkyrie-Ms were ordered to load ordnance, then depart Earth to provide support in Tau Ceti. Eight of the thirty-six Raptor-A missile corvettes on the Valkyrie-Ms were undergoing refit to the new, faster Raptor-AB, so they were left behind. Meanwhile, MK I Vipers from Baldur disabled the Stave survey ship, allowing the Battlestar’s marines to board and capture the ship.

Seven days later, the first response arrives from the Stave Commonality. Three ships of a new 8150-ton type , designated as Razortooth class, approached the Tau Ceti – Aeolus jump point at 5060 km/s. Baldur was armed with four Railguns and carried thirty Viper MK I fighters. The three Valkyrie-Ms from Earth were thirteen days away. The four Zeus Battlestars were a month away.



There had been no combat involving Stave warships in over ten years, so the state of their weapon systems was unknown. In previous engagements, they had been armed with 10cm and 20cm railguns. If that was still true, the Baldur could engage on equal terms. However, the alien ships were faster than the Battlestar so they could choose the range. Colonel Macaria decided to hold position close to the jump point, allowing a retreat if necessary, then attack with fighters with the Baldur in support.

Valkyrie II class Battlestar      37,500 tons       743 Crew       5,014.3 BP       TCS 750    TH 3,000    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 5-99       Shields 0-0       HTK 210      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 33      PPV 60.64
Maint Life 2.55 Years     MSP 2,762    AFR 341%    IFR 4.7%    1YR 594    5YR 8,914    Max Repair 375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 12,000 tons     
Colonel    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 30 months    Flight Crew Berths 240    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems ZDS-750 Ion Drive (4)    Power 3000    Fuel Use 24.49%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,477,000 Litres    Range 28.9 billion km (83 days at full power)

Ares Kinetics AK-20B Railgun (4x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 5,000 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Ares Kinetics G20-8 Gauss Cannon Turret (2x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Hyperion R256-S4 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s   
Hyperion R64-S16 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s   
R-8 Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 16.6    Exp 5%

Artemis-60 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 10080     Range 62.5m km    Resolution 120
Artemis-5M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Themis EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
Themis TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

The Razortooths headed straight for the jump point, suggesting they were armed with energy weapons. As they reached 200,000 km, the Baldur and her Vipers charged out to meet them at their best speed. Colonel Macaria intended to move within gauss cannon range if the enemy ships allowed him. The Razortooths were armed with five 20cm railguns, and opened fire on the Vipers as they approached, destroying one, disabling three more and causing armour damage to a further two. The three cripples managed to get aboard Baldur as it swept past them, firing at the Stave ships. The twenty-six active Vipers closed on the Razortooths, scoring twenty-one strength-1 hits from 39,000 km. The Stave railguns recycled in fifteen seconds and fired on the Baldur, inflicting forty-four strength-1 hits. The fighters registered a further thirty hits from 25,000 km, none of which penetrated armour.



The Stave warships reversed course away from the jump point, continuing to fire on Baldur as the fighters closed to point blank. The next volley from Baldur and the Vipers penetrated the armour of Razortooth 001, which slowed to half speed. Two more volleys left it dead in space and no longer firing, so the Colonial ships changed target. The Viper pilots were among the most experienced in the Twelve Colonies and switched targets without hesitation or confusion. The two mobile Stave vessels fired again on Baldur, which was taking significant armour damage. Two different locations were down to twenty percent armour.



Suddenly, Razortooth 002 and R003 reversed course and headed straight toward Baldur. The Battlestar fired again, inflicting ten strength-2 hits at 78,000 km, seven of which penetrated. The Vipers quickly reversed course too and added a further fifty hits. Razortooth 002 ceased all movement. The last active Commonality ship, Razortooth 003, was unscathed and closed to within 50,000 km of Baldur before unleashing a devastating salvo that inflicted twenty strength-4 hits. Miraculously, the Battlestar escaped any internal damage. The battering that Razortooth 003 received in return reduced it to an immobile hulk.



All three Razortooth class ships were badly damaged and stationary, but Baldur only had a single assault shuttle and forty marine raiders. The first boarding attempt was made on Razortooth 001, which was captured in five minutes with the loss of one marine. It now became a race against time to transfer the marines back to the assault shuttle, which would require almost three hours, before either Stave warship repaired any weapons.

Razortooth class Destroyer      8,153 tons       246 Crew       1,322.8 BP       TCS 163    TH 825    EM 0
5060 km/s      Armour 4-36       Shields 0-0       HTK 51      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 35
Maint Life 1.26 Years     MSP 304    AFR 177%    IFR 2.5%    1YR 200    5YR 3,000    Max Repair 206.25 MSP
Major    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP412.5 (2)    Power 825.0    Fuel Use 33.03%    Signature 412.5    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 400,000 Litres    Range 26.7 billion km (61 days at full power)

20cm Railgun V40/C4 (5x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 5,060 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Beam Fire Control R256-TS5200 (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s   
Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor R4 (5)     Total Power Output 21.4    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS55-R106 (1)     GPS 7632     Range 55.5m km    Resolution 106
Active Search Sensor AS6-R1 (1)     GPS 24     Range 6.8m km    MCR 609.3k km    Resolution 1
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Six hours after the first boarding assault, all three Razortooth class destroyers had been captured, a remarkable feat by the small detachment of marines. During the same period, deck crews on Baldur had repaired all three Vipers crippled in the battle, which brough strikegroup strength back up to twenty-nine fighters. However, the armour of the Battlestar Baldur was badly damaged with holes in four locations.

On May 30th, six days after the battle, another Razortooth approached the jump point. Baldur could not risk direct combat, so it was up to the Viper MK Is to defend the jump point. Fortunately, with the alien ship less than fifty million kilometres away, the Battlestar Vanir transited into Tau Ceti. While the Vanir was configured for survey operations, she was also a Valkyrie II and has the same ship-to-ship armament as Baldur, plus she had a reduced fighter complement of fifteen Viper MK Is. The arrival of the second Battlestar prompted the Razortooth to reverse course and run.

The Vanir was carrying one of the few Asp scout fighters, which had a speed of 15,000 km/s. Only fourteen had been built, with two each serving on the four Asgards, one each on Valkyrie and Vanir and the other four based at Earth. The Asp launched in pursuit of the Razortooth, followed by the forty-four much slower Viper MK Is from Baldur and Vanir. The Asp maintained contact while the Vipers slowly closed the range.

The overtake speed was only 3000 km/s, which meant the chasing Vipers had to ensure three hostile volleys before they could move within their own weapon range. Four Vipers were destroyed and a fifth crippled during the approach. Two more were destroyed at 17,000 km before the next volley from the Vipers blew the ship apart. The losses among Baldur’s Vipers were made good from Vanir’s squadron, then the latter Battlestar began launching its Raptor-Rs to conduct a gravitational survey of Tau Ceti.

A Raptor-D entered the system from Aeolus and fired sensor drones at Tau Ceti II and Tau Ceti III. The former was a terrestrial planet with a thin nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere and the only rocky body in the system with minerals. The latter was a gas giant with 100,000 tons of accessibility 0.9 Sorium. During the early contacts with the Stave Commonality, several fuel harvesters and their escorts had been detected in orbit. Now, there was no sign of any Stave presence at either planet.

With the three Valkyrie-M corvette carriers only thirty hours away from Tau Ceti, two new 16,240-ton Stave ships appeared at the edge of sensor range. They were both of a new type, designated as Fireclaw class. With only thirty-eight operational Viper MK Is between the Baldur and Vanir, and the former Battlestar in no shape to fight, the situation appeared ominous. However, after moving within fifty million kilometres of the jump point, the two Fireclaws moved away again at 3078 km/s. Their speed was slow for Stave warships, so it was possible they were an older design. Commander Macaria launched a scout Raptor to monitor their movements.

On June 5th 2315, the corvette carriers transited into Tau Ceti and launched a dozen Raptor-As to pursue the Fireclaws, which by this point were four hundred million kilometres from the jump point. Almost twenty-four hours later, the Raptors were sixty-six million kilometres from the Fireclaws when three more Razortooths appeared thirty million kilometres beyond the Fireclaws heading toward the corvettes.



The shadowing scout, a Raptor-SE that was slower than the Razortooths and therefore in danger, reversed course immediately. The Raptor-As changed their targeting to the oncoming destroyers and launched seventy-two Theseus II missiles at each target. One hundred and thirty-four missiles hit. The attack proved to be overkill, with the first ship destroyed by eleven hits due to two large secondary explosions, the second by thirty-one and the third by twenty-five. The Raptor-SE and the Raptor-As headed back to their motherships.



With the growing potential for full scale war against the Stave, Colonial Fleet Command ordered the Zeus class Battlestar Athena to depart the Artemis colony and return to Earth. The Fleet needed every ship of its most powerful Battlestar class ready to fight. The Dark Star Imperium seemed to be observing the Colonial territorial claim on Artemis and one Battlestar would not stop their vast fleet in any case.

A few days later, the two Fireclaws reappeared at the edge of sensor range then moved away again. A strike of eight Raptors was dispatched to target each of them with seventy-two older Theseus I missiles. The Fireclaws were twice as large as the Razortooths, although slower, and the smaller ships had been overkilled so this was a more conservative attack. Each Fireclaw exploded after eighteen hits, which suggested they were actually commercial ships of some type rather than older military ships.

On June 20th, the four Zeus class Battlestars finally arrived in Tau Ceti. The scratch defence force in that system, led by the Baldur, had successfully held the jump point until relieved. Baldur detached enough Viper MK Is to bring Vanir up to her full complement then headed home for repairs. Colonel Macaria was promoted to Commander.

In late July, a Commonality fleet comprising four fuel harvesters, a Predatoricon cruiser, a Serpenticon escort cruiser and two Reptilicon escorts appeared at the edge of sensor range, en route to the Aeolus jump point. The harvesters were those detected over a decade earlier in orbit of Tau Ceti III. The interesting question was why the Commonality believed Aeolus was a safer route than retreating toward their home system. The escorts were very dangerous to fighters so the Raptors-As were dispatched to attack, using older Theseus I missiles. The Stave fleet tried to run, but only at the glacial speed of the harvesters.

Due to a targeting error, only seventy-two missiles were launched in the attack, of which forty-seven were destroyed by the Stave’s highly effective point defence.  Seventeen missiles struck the escort cruiser, resulting in a single armour penetration. The remaining one hundred and forty-four missiles were launched in the second wave. A third were lost to point defence. The remainder destroyed one of the Reptilicon escorts, crippled the Serpenticon escort cruiser and inflicted minor internal damage. Eight more Raptor-A launched a new strike, which destroyed the three remaining warships. Eight assault transports from the four Zeus class Battlestars launched simultaneous assaults on the four Chimericon class fuel harvesters, capturing them all within a few minutes. The Valkyrie-M Aesir, which only had four Raptor-As embarked, had been reloading Raptors from the other corvette carriers and was out of missiles. She headed back to Earth for overhaul.

Chimericon class Fuel Harvester      57,148 tons       292 Crew       1,069.2 BP       TCS 1,143    TH 600    EM 0
524 km/s      Armour 1-132       Shields 0-0       HTK 134      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 11    Max Repair 53 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Fuel Harvester: 19 modules producing 1,064,000 litres per annum

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (3)    Power 600    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 600,000 Litres    Range 62.1 billion km (1372 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 10 hours
CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       

Two more harvesters, this time unescorted and of a different type, approached the jump point a few days later and were duly captured by Colonial marines.  To the surprise of Colonial Intelligence, they were equipped with magneto-plasma drives, which indicated a higher level of technology for the Stave than was previously known. The Twelve Colonies had recently developed magneto-plasma drives but their use was limited to upgraded Raptors, the new Viper MK IV and four freighters. A new, larger Battlestar class with magneto-plasma drives was planned, but construction had not yet started. For now, it was possible the Stave had a technological advantage and that more advanced Stave warships would soon appear.

Ironcrest class Fuel Harvester      80,023 tons       384 Crew       1,440 BP       TCS 1,600    TH 768    EM 0
479 km/s      Armour 1-165       Shields 0-0       HTK 182      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 11    Max Repair 55.5 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Fuel Harvester: 28 modules producing 1,568,000 litres per annum

Commercial Magneto-plasma Drive  EP256.0 (3)    Power 768    Fuel Use 2.53%    Signature 256    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 800,000 Litres    Range 71 billion km (1715 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 13 hours
CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       

On August 3rd 2315, four Chimera class Survey Hunters were launched in Earth orbit. The Chimera was double the size of a Raptor and capable of independent operations. Their intended role was to intercept and destroy hostile survey ships, in particular those of the Cylons. There were armed with the cannon from a Viper, which would be sufficient against unarmed survey ships, plus a single missile launcher and twenty-six Theseus III missiles. Both the sensors and fire controls were resolution-70, so they could detect Cylon survey ships at maximum range. The Theseus III had a magneto-plasma drive, as did the Chimera, and was designed to take account of lessons learned in combat against the Cylons, focusing on speed rather than range. The four new ships all set course for the Thermopylae system.

Chimera class Survey Hunter      2,000 tons       50 Crew       274.7 BP       TCS 40    TH 204    EM 0
5100 km/s    JR 1-50      Armour 1-14       Shields 0-0       HTK 14      Sensors 0/1/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 3.25
Maint Life 3.40 Years     MSP 85    AFR 32%    IFR 0.4%    1YR 11    5YR 168    Max Repair 102 MSP
Magazine 106   
Major    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Apollo-2B Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 2010.0 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 1
Zeus Drive Systems MPD-200 (1)    Power 204    Fuel Use 53.14%    Signature 204    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 167,000 Litres    Range 28.3 billion km (64 days at full power)

Ares Kinetics VC-2 Viper Cannon (1x2)    Range 40,000km     TS: 5,100 km/s     Power 1-1.5     ROF 5       
Hyperion HC-1 Chimera Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 5,250 km/s
R-1B Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 1.5    Exp 15%

Cadmus-Aeternae CA-4R Missile Launcher (1)     Missile Size: 4    Rate of Fire 240
Graystone GFC-22C Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 22.4m km    Resolution 70
Theseus III Anti-ship Missile (26)    Speed: 52,800 km/s    Range: 10.7m km    WH: 6    Size: 4    TH: 176/105/52

Artemis 25-LC Active Sensor (1)     GPS 735     Range 25m km    Resolution 70
Themis EMM-1C Minimal EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 1.1     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  8.3m km
Themis THM-1 Minimal Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 0.6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  6.1m km

In the Khazhar system, Colonial survey Raptors had identified two more outward jump points. The first led to Attica, a planetless white dwarf system, and the second to Laconia, a red dwarf with eight planets. Laconia II had a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere and some low-to-mid accessibility mineral deposits, but a Raptor-G from Valkyrie had found no sign of a Khazhari colony. A geological survey of Olympus had also failed to locate any sign of life, although on two occasions the Raptors were requested to leave.

Back in Tau Ceti, a jump point was discovered in Tau Ceti by a Raptor from the Battlestar Vanir. A scout dispatched to investigate transited on October 5th 2315. The scout was blown to pieces within seconds of transit, but lasted longer enough to send data on the system and the defenders through the stabilised jump point. A Commonality fleet stationed on the far side comprised five 24,584-ton Skyfire class ships, which were a new type armed with eighteen 20cm railguns, accompanied by three Serpenticon escort cruisers, three Razortooth destroyers and two Reptilicon escorts. The system had an orange K0-V primary and nine planets, including an ideal habitable world that was probably the home world of the Stave Commonality. On that basis, the system was named Stave. Stave II was larger than Earth, at 17,600 km in diameter, and colder, with a temperature of -1C. The atmosphere was 0.93 atm, with 0.25 atm of oxygen. Small seas covered thirty percent of the surface. Stave – Tau Ceti jump point was half a billion kilometres from the primary.

The four Zeus class Battlestars in Tau Ceti moved to the Stave jump point to prevent any further Commonality movement into the system. The Zeus class Battlestars Athena and Artemis departed Earth orbit, leaving only two Zeus and two Galacticas to defend the home world of humanity, and joined their four sister ships on October 24th 2315. The six Zeus class Battlestars and two Valkyrie-M class Battlestars stationed at Tau Ceti – Stave jump point represented the largest concentration of force outside Sol in the history of the Twelve Colonies. Their mission was to assault the Commonality home system and remove any future threat from the Stave.

Tau Ceti Attack Fleet
Zeus class Battlestar: Artemis, Athena, Galactica, Pegasus, Solaris, Zeus
Valkyrie - M class Battlestar: Heimdall, Thor
24x Raptor-A class Corvette:
10x Raptor-MB class Assault Transport:
2x Raptor-MC class Assault Transport:
7x Raptor-SE class Scout:
210x Viper MK II class Fighter:
210x Viper MK II-B class Fighter:



Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 11181
  • Thanked: 18038 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Twelve Colonies Update Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2022, 05:52:42 AM »
Before the attack on the home system of the Stave Commonality could begin, the current disposition of the Stave forces defending the jump point had to be determined. A single Raptor-SE with a volunteer, skeleton crew made the jump and discovered the defenders had been massively reinforced. The number of 24,584-ton Skyfire class heavy cruisers had increased from five to twenty-five, while the number of Serpenticon escort cruisers had increased from three to fifteen. Even with the power of six Zeus class Battlestars and over four hundred fighters, an assault would be a suicide mission. For now the fleet would remain in place and stand ready to take advantage of any reduction in Stave forces. On October 29th, the Stave mounted their own jump point probe when three Razortooth class destroyers transited into Tau Ceti from the Commonality home system. All three were destroyed within fifteen seconds.

In November, the Twelve Colonies launched the first Odysseus class Survey Cruiser, a new ship type intended for long-duration survey missions. The ship carried its own sensor drones to allow long-range reconnaissance of potentially habitable worlds, which would reduce the chance of an encounter with hostile warships. Production of the Odysseus class would gradually free up the four survey-configured Valkyrie II class Battlestars for combat assignments. The first mission for the Odysseus, and two sister ships close to completion, was to investigate the systems around the new survey base in the Electra system, two transits out from Talos.

Odysseus class Survey Cruiser      6,000 tons       153 Crew       910.8 BP       TCS 120    TH 403    EM 0
3360 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 1-29       Shields 0-0       HTK 41      Sensors 6/11/2/2      DCR 6      PPV 1.6
Maint Life 5.84 Years     MSP 616    AFR 44%    IFR 0.6%    1YR 31    5YR 461    Max Repair 141.12 MSP
Magazine 36   
Major    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 60 months    Morale Check Required   

Apollo-6B Military Jump Drive         Max Ship Size 6000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Zeus Drive Systems MPD-400-E (1)    Power 403.2    Fuel Use 12.96%    Signature 403.2    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 767,000 Litres    Range 177.5 billion km (611 days at full power)

Cadmus-Aeternae CA-4R Missile Launcher (1)     Missile Size: 4    Rate of Fire 240
Graystone GFC-22C Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 22.4m km    Resolution 70
Oracle Sensor Drone (9)    Speed: 4,800 km/s    End: 7.1d     Range: 2,939.6m km    WH: 0    Size: 4    TH: 16/9/4

Artemis 40-NC Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 2520     Range 42.3m km    Resolution 120
Themis EM-11C Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  26.2m km
Themis TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Gravitational Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour
Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

On December 1st, a new probe of the Commonality home system revealed that the defence force had been reduced to ten Skyfire heavy cruisers, seven Serpenticon escort cruisers, four Predatoricon light cruisers, five Reptilicon escorts and three Razortooth destroyers. The head of the Colonial Fleet, Admiral Saul Silenus, recommended an immediate assault and the Council of Twelve agreed.

Four hundred and twenty Viper MK IIs transited the jump point and moved away at their best speed, trying to get out of range so that their fire controls could recover from jump shock. Their intention was to draw the enemy away from the jump point so the six Zeus class Battlestars could transit, or alternatively launch a coordinated attack to distract from the Battlestar transit. Forty-one Vipers were destroyed within seconds of transit, but ninety percent of the force survived and moved outside of 10cm railgun range, which took the deadly Stave escorts out of the fight. Unexpectedly, the entire Stave force suddenly transited into Tau Ceti, where the Zeus class Battlestars were without their fighters and the two Valkyrie-Ms and a Virgon salvage ship had no defences and only minimal armour.

The Valkyrie-Ms launched their Raptor-As missile corvettes and ran, followed by the salvage ship. All six Zeus Battlestars reacted immediately, due to their well-trained crews, and each targeted a different Skyfire class heavy cruiser with their main armament of twenty 25cm railguns, plus their six gauss cannon turrets due to the point-blank range. The six Skyfires were blown to pieces. The Raptor-As targeted six of the Serpenticons, although they held fire until they could launch together, while the Vipers were ordered to remain on the far side of the Stave – Tau Ceti jump point in case the Commonality fleet returned to its home system. 



The Zeus class Battlestars changed targets to the remaining four Skyfires, the only Serpenticon that was not being targeted by the Raptors and one of the Predatoricon class light cruisers. The Ares Kinetics AK-25 Railguns of the Battlestars required twenty seconds to recharge, but their gauss cannons continued firing every 5 seconds.



As soon as the 25cm railguns recycled, the Battlestars obliterated their targets with eighty strength-5 shots. The Stave continued to run and their speed advantage allowed them to escape gauss cannon range, but they still had not recovered from jump shock. The 25cm railguns recycled once again and five of the six Battlestars opened fire, destroying the remaining three Predatoricons and three Reptilicon escorts and damaging a fourth Reptilicon. Only Artemis, with a crew that was experienced but not at the same level as the other ships, had yet to change target. The first wave of missiles from the Raptors was inbound, with a second similar size wave five seconds behind..



The remnants of the once-powerful Commonality fleet finally began to return fire. The Battlestar Galactica was attacked by two Razortooth destroyers and suffered thirty-two strength-2 hits. Artemis sorted out her targeting issues and attacked a Razortooth and a Reptilicon, penetrating the armour of both and slowing the latter to half speed. Three Serpenticons were each attacked by seventy-two Theseus missiles. Forty-three of the two hundred and sixteen missiles were destroyed by point defence. The remainder destroyed two escort cruisers and badly damaged the third.

A third Razortooth recovered from jump shock and attacked Galactica, but her shield strength was above seventy percent. The second wave of missiles arrived, a mixture of Theseus Is and Theseus IIs, and attacked three more Serpenticons. All survived, but were left dead in space. A series of boarding actions were planned to capture the crippled ships.



The boarding strategy proved to be unwise, as three of the stationary Serpenticons recovered from jump shock and inflicted one hundred and thirty hits on Galactica, reducing her shields to twenty-eight percent. The Colonial fleet took evasive action, moving away from the Serpenticons and targeting all of them except for one that had already been boarded.



All three targeted Serpenticons were destroyed, so the fleet resumed its pursuit of the Razortooths and the two surviving Reptilicons. The battle was almost over. The few survivors attempted to fight back, but Galactica broke off to protect her shields and the Stave could not break through the shields of the other Battlestars. One Razortooth was crippled and boarded. Every other ship was destroyed.

The Stave Commonality had taken a substantial loss: ten Skyfire heavy cruisers, seven Serpenticon escort cruisers, four Predatoricon light cruisers, five Reptilicon escorts and three Razortooth destroyers. Colonial losses amounted to forty-one Viper MK IIs. However, at least fifteen more Skyfires were in service and would probably have to be fought in deep space somewhere in the Commonality home system. The Battlestar fleet transited into Stave and held position while the Raptor-As were rearmed.

A week later five Skyfire heavy cruisers and three Serpenticon escort cruisers were detected moving past the Tau Ceti jump point en route to the inner system. The six Zeus class Battlestars attempted to intercept, while the twenty-four Raptor-As moved ahead of them to launch a new missile strike. The Stave fleet took evasive action, putting them on a course where the slower Battlestars could not catch them. Instead, the Raptor-As launched a wave  of four hundred and thirty-two missiles, a mixture of Theseus Is and Theseus IIs, equally spread among all eight targets. The two missile types had the same speed, but the Theseus II had a larger warhead. The aim of the strike was to destroy the Stave warships if possible, with a secondary objective of slowing them down so the Battlestars could catch them.

One hundred and forty-one missiles were shot down by a mixture of 10cm and 20cm railguns, demonstrating the effective of Commonality point defence, and a further one hundred and five missed. The remaining missiles struck all five Skyfires and one of the Serpenticons. None were destroyed. Colonial tactical officers registered three armour-penetrating hits on the Serpenticon, seventeen for one of the Skyfires and between five and seven for the others. The Raptors headed home. Heimdall was out of reloads so would return to Earth once her Raptors landed. Thor had one set of reloads for her twelve Raptor-As. In general, the Twelve Colonies were now very short on ordnance with almost all the Theseus I and II supplies exhausted. The Theseus III was in production.



One Skyfire and the two undamaged Serpenticons remained at full speed. The third Serpenticon and one Skyfire were left stationary. The other three Skyfires had speeds of 4194 km/s, 3355 km/s and 1677 km/s respectively. The slowest headed back in the direction from which the Stave fleet had arrived. The other two mobile units initially tried to pursue the missile Raptors, but then changed course and also headed back along their original course. The Battlestars set an intercept course for the slower Skyfires as they could not catch the intact ships.



Ninety minutes after the battle, the stationary Serpenticon repaired an engine and began moving away from the battle area at 1259 km/s. Fifteen minutes later, the three ships travelling at full speed ended their pursuit of the Raptors and headed for the inner system. While the Raptor strike had not destroyed any ships, it had broken up the formation and made it far more susceptible to attack. The Zeus class Battlestars launched all their Vipers to attack the three Stave warship with intact engines and the Skyfire with a speed of 4194 km/s, as it was still faster than the Battlestars. As they closed in, one of the other damaged Skyfires also repaired an engine, adding it to the Vipers’ target list.

The Vipers attacked the isolated Skyfires first, destroying both for the lost of eight fighters, then closed in on the formation of one Skyfire and two Serpenticons. Eighteen Vipers were lost on the approach and during a vicious close-range exchange of fire. All three Stave warships were destroyed. Meanwhile, the Battlestars moved in on the three badly damaged ships: two Skyfires and a Serpenticon. They engaged each target in turn, inflicting sufficient damage to cripple them before conducting a boarding operation. The Battlestars’ shields allowed them to absorb fire while moving close enough to launch assault shuttles with a very fast turnaround time. All three ships were captured. The Skyfire was armed with eighteen 20cm railguns.

Skyfire class Battlecruiser      24,584 tons       754 Crew       3,849.7 BP       TCS 492    TH 2,475    EM 0
5033 km/s      Armour 5-75       Shields 0-0       HTK 147      Sensors 12/18/0/0      DCR 9      PPV 126
Maint Life 1.22 Years     MSP 880    AFR 537%    IFR 7.5%    1YR 609    5YR 9,139    Max Repair 206.25 MSP
Colonel    Control Rating 4   BRG   AUX   ENG   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP412.5 (6)    Power 2475.0    Fuel Use 33.03%    Signature 412.5    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,450,000 Litres    Range 32.1 billion km (73 days at full power)

20cm Railgun V40/C4 (18x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 5,033 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Beam Fire Control R256-TS5200 (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s   
Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor R4 (18)     Total Power Output 76.9    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS67-R106 (1)     GPS 11448     Range 68m km    Resolution 106
Active Search Sensor AS6-R1 (1)     GPS 24     Range 6.8m km    MCR 609.3k km    Resolution 1
Thermal Sensor TH2-12 (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
EM Sensor EM3-18 (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33.5m km

Before the battle was over, a new Commonality formation was detected at long range. Two Predatoricon class cruisers, two Serpenticon escort cruisers and eleven ships of a new type, designated as Cloudfire class, appeared to be moving on a course toward the eighth planet, a gas giant. Their speed of 511 km/s indicated the Cloudfires were commercial ships, perhaps fuel harvesters. A scout Raptor was dispatched to maintain contact while the Battlestars completed their operations against the first Stave fleet



Nine hours after the capture of the Skyfires, the Zeus class Battlestars approached the Cloudfires and their escorts. The escorts broke away from the Cloudfires as soon as they came under attack and charged the Battlestars. The Colonial ships held the range open, as the Stave ships could only close 20,000 km between each 25cm railgun volley, and destroyed both Predatoricons, then closed in and disabled the two escort cruisers before launching boarding attacks. The eleven Cloudfires were unarmed Terraformers which were captured in a series of Marine raids over a period of several hours.

Cloudfire class Terraformer      58,647 tons       282 Crew       1,476.5 BP       TCS 1,173    TH 600    EM 0
511 km/s      Armour 1-134       Shields 0-0       HTK 56      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 15    Max Repair 500 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Terraformer: 2 modules producing 0.001 atm per annum

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (3)    Power 600    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 100,000 Litres    Range 10.1 billion km (228 days at full power)
CIWS-160 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       

The Battlestars sent out Raptors to pick up the Commonality life pods. The survivors were interrogated once they landed, revealing the existence, but not the location, of the Beagle system, a red dwarf with five planets, two of which had thin nitrogen – oxygen atmospheres, plus complete geological survey information on the Commonality home system. The only two planets with notable mineral deposits were the Stave home world, which had almost two million tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium and useful deposits of several other minerals, and the first planet, which had eighteen million tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium and a reasonable deposit of Corundium.

Stave Home World Survey Report
Duranium:   1,890,988   1.00
Neutronium:   89,114   0.48
Corbomite:   26,967   0.27
Tritanium:   289,433   0.60
Boronide:   13,967   0.22
Mercassium:   10,486   0.20
Vendarite:   23,449   0.28
Sorium:   634,022   0.70
Uridium:   669,500   0.90
Corundium:   168,344   0.50
Gallicite:   175,055   0.40

Stave I Survey Report
Duranium:   18,120,200   0.80
Tritanium:   6,002,500   0.10
Boronide:   7,645,225   0.10
Corundium:   1,254,400   0.50

The interrogations also provided data on previously unknown class, designated as the Scything Tail destroyer. The class had magneto-plasma drives and ECM, making it superior to the known Commonality warships. In fact, apart from the 20cm railgun armament, it had comparable technology to Twelve Colonies and was considerably faster than the Battlestars of the Colonial Fleet.

Scything Tail class Destroyer      9,395 tons       276 Crew       1,697.1 BP       TCS 188    TH 1,184    EM 0
6301 km/s      Armour 6-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 55      Sensors 8/8/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 35
Maint Life 0.94 Years     MSP 338    AFR 235%    IFR 3.3%    1YR 360    5YR 5,400    Max Repair 296 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Magneto-plasma Drive  EP592 (2)    Power 1184    Fuel Use 25.99%    Signature 592    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 550,000 Litres    Range 40.5 billion km (74 days at full power)

20cm Railgun V40/C4 (5x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 6,301 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Beam Fire Control R256-TS6400 (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 6,400 km/s   
Stellarator Fusion Reactor R5 (5)     Total Power Output 22.9    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS73-R106 (1)     GPS 10176     Range 74m km    Resolution 106
Active Search Sensor AS9-R1 (1)     GPS 32     Range 9m km    MCR 812.4k km    Resolution 1
Thermal Sensor TH1-8 (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-8 (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

On January 30th 2316, the six Zeus class Battlestars in Stave were refuelled and resupplied by the replenishment ship Gideon, after which they headed in-system to investigate the Stave home world. The passive signature of the planet indicated a population approximately two thirds that of Earth. Unlike other alien home worlds, which had substantial forces in orbit, Stave II was protected only by six ships of a new 16,381-ton class, designated as Archaeopteryx class. There were ten known Skyfire class battlecruisers that were unaccounted for, plus their Serpenticon escorts, but for the moment they were nowhere near the Commonality home world. It was possible they might attack the undefended salvage ships or other nearby forces while the Battlestars were too far away to intervene, but that was a risk that had to be taken, given the golden opportunity that had presented itself. The Council of Twelve ordered the fleet commander, Commander Polyphemus Zarek, to attack and eliminate the Stave home world defences.



Once within a few million kilometres, Colonial active sensors detected a ground forces signature of 458,900 tons, indicating somewhere between two and three million tons of fortified ground forces. A huge program of increasing Colonial ground forces would be required before any assault could be launched. Fortunately, the dominant terrain was Steppe, which did not give the defender any terrain advantages.

The Battlestars closed to 240,000 km, which was within the maximum range of the twenty 25cm railguns mounted on each ship. There was no hostile fire. The longest-ranged Stave weapon seen this far had been a 20cm railgun with a 160,000 km range, even on the newer but as yet unseen Scything Tail, so the fleet moved to 180,000 km, still without incident. Each Battlestar targeted a different Archaeopteryx and opened fire, eliminating all six within a few minutes. The Colonial warships then focused on the orbital shipyards, which had a signature of 78,000 tons. Ten minutes of constant fire was sufficient to smash the orbital industry of the Stave home world. The existing Commonality ships could still pose a threat, but unless there were shipyards elsewhere there would be no Stave reinforcements for a very long time.

The Battlestars closed further, to 160,000 km, risking damage from the ground-based defences in order to reveal their strength. This was a risk, but it was unlikely such a strong Colonial force would be assembled again for some time so that risk was judged to be acceptable. Within moments, the fleet suffered over four hundred strength-1 hits from ground fire. Fortunately, this was spread across all six Battlestars. If the hostile fire had been focused on a single Battlestar it would have taken significant damage.



The Battlestars pulled back to 165,000 km and attacked the newly-revealed STO installations, eventually destroying two hundred and thirty-five separate ground-based weapons. Approximately three million Stave civilians were killed by collateral damage and sixty installations were destroyed. The dust thrown into the atmosphere by the bombardment was sufficient to lower the temperature by three degrees. The Battlestars had run out of military targets and the Council of Twelve was unwilling to countenance a general surface bombardment. The focus now would be on hunting down the remaining Stave warships and building a large invasion army.

Meanwhile, the survey of the Tau Ceti system, which lay between the Stave home system and Aeolus, had been completed without the discovery of any more jump points. With a powerful fleet in Stave and no Commonality forces left in Tau Ceti, it was deemed safe enough for the establishment of a colony on the second planet that could serve as a forward base. Tau Ceti II, a Mars-sized planet with a thin nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere, also had twenty million tons of accessibility 0.8 Duranium.

Tau Ceti II Survey Report
Duranium:   20,736,800   0.80
Tritanium:   1,177,225   0.80
Sorium:   11,055,625   0.50

The Battlestar Vanir, with her strike group configured for survey operations, moved from Tau Ceti into the Stave home system to begin a new survey. A new jump point was discovered almost immediately. A Raptor-G from Vanir investigated and discovered Phobos, a brown dwarf system with many comets but no planetary bodies. Meanwhile a Raptor-SE scout from the Battlestar Athena detected a Commonality population on the sixth moon of Stave III. The moon also had a ground forces signature of 42,600 tons, which represented a potential opportunity to test Colonial forces against the Stave before an assault on the home world. The signature of the newly discovered population was Thermal 770 and EM 775.

The strike group of the Battlestar Valkyrie, based on the Leoben – Khazhar jump point, was conducting its own survey of alien territory, in this case beyond the home system of the Church of Khazhar. A Raptor from Valkyrie transited a jump point in Laconia, one transit beyond the Khazhari home system, and found Zeta Leporis. A blazing A2-V white star, almost fifty times more luminous than Sol, was orbited by three planets, all of which had nitrogen – oxygen atmospheres. The atmospheres of the first and third lacked sufficient oxygen to be breathable, while the second planet was a super-terrestrial world with gravity of 1.86 and a dense atmosphere of 3.6 atm that contained far too much oxygen.

In late February, a geological survey was conducted in the Nike system, three jumps beyond Khazhar via Ormenos and Attica. The third planet, a small barren world without either water or atmosphere had accessible deposits of all eleven trans-Newtonian minerals. The Raptor conducting the survey was asked to leave by an undetected Khazhari ship. The request was ignored.

Nike III Survey Report
Duranium:   2,713,594   0.80
Neutronium:   1,568,377   0.60
Corbomite:   151,988   0.70
Boronide:   3,410,276   0.70
Mercassium:   693,378   0.80
Vendarite:   1,358,176   0.20
Sorium:   3,829,625   0.60
Uridium:   1,566,998   0.80
Corundium:   119,765   0.60
Gallicite:   973,202   1.00

The war between the Church of Khazhar and the Cetacean Council continued. In March, a Cetacean force of four Barracuda light cruisers, a Thresher escort cruiser and two Manta escorts transited from Leoben into Khazhar. The Colonial Skywatch station on the Leoben side of the jump point transited seconds later and found the Cetaceans had been wiped out by a strong Khazhari defensive force, centred around eight Tehran class heavy cruisers.

On March 4th 2316, four of the six Battlestars in the Stave home system headed back to Sol for resupply and overhaul. Salvage operations in Stave were complete so the salvage ships moved back into Tau Ceti to await further developments. The two remaining Battlestars took up position on the Stave side of the Tau Ceti jump point to hold off any Stave attacks until a new large force could be assembled to hunt down the missing Stave warships.

As captured Commonality warships were returned to Earth, either under their own power or via tugs, they were repaired and put into Colonial service. A fleet comprising a Skyfire class battlecruiser, two Serpenticon class escort cruisers and two Razortooth class destroyers was dispatched to the Leonis colony to act as the local guard force. This freed up the Galactica class Battlestar Atlantia to guard Earth, or take part in offensive operations.

On June 2nd 2316,  a new 8192-ton Commonality ship type, designated as Thunderfoot class, was detected close to a newly discovered jump point in the Stave system. A Chimera survey hunter and a scout Raptor were already heading for the jump point. Two Zeus class Battlestars and a Valkyrie-M were at the Tau Ceti jump point, along with Vanir, a survey-configured Valkyrie II. The survey hunter and the scout both had a slight speed advantage over the Thunderfoot. The enemy ship ran for the jump point.



A second Thunderfoot was detected running slightly ahead of the first, followed by a third close to the jump point. One by one all three transited into the unknown system beyond. The Chimera followed and had only moments to scan a very large Stave fleet, including several new ship classes, before it was destroyed. The known warships included four Predatoricon cruisers, four Serpenticon escort cruisers and six Reptilicon class escorts. Four Thunderchild troop transports and four Dragonfire stabilisation ships were also present. The new ships included twelve 61,000 ton Thunderbeasts, which were probably commercial ships, twelve 24,000-ton Firedrakes, which based on their size alone could have been warships, four of the Thunderfoot class encountered on the Stave side of the jump point and two 8700-ton Justicars, which were likely to be warships.



The type that caused the most concern to Colonial Intelligence was the Firedrakes. If they were warships, especially a new type with magneto-plasma engines, this new fleet represented a powerful threat. However, if they were commercial shipping, this was a golden opportunity to attack a large commercial fleet. The Galactica class Battlestars Apollo, Atlantia and Pacifica were dispatched from Sol to join the two Zeus class Battlestars in Stave. The system containing the Commonality fleet was Agamemnon, the existence of which had been known for fifteen years based on early interrogations of Stave prisoners.

Across known space, one jump beyond the survey base in Electra, the survey cruiser Odysseus transited a jump point in the Odessos system and discovered Hydra, a red dwarf system with a single Venusian world. On the far side of Hydra from the entry jump point was a strange, never-before-encountered, phenomenon; a swirling, dark purple vortex with a diameter of ten million kilometres. It appeared be a rift that penetrated both normal space and the Aether. As soon as news of the discovery arrived at Earth, a tug was dispatched with an Outpost sensor station that would monitor the rift.



In mid-June, a large Cylon force comprising thirty-nine Termagaunts, eight Hormagaunts and four Spinegaunts transited into Thermopylae from Artemisium. A Skywatch II sensor outpost and Chimera survey hunter were both stationed near the jump point. The only Battlestar in Thermopylae was Hades, stationed at the Proxima jump point, as the force in-system had been reduced due to lack of Cylon activity and the need for additional Battlestars for the active war against the Stave Commonality.



The Cylons headed straight for the 2000-ton Chimera. The inexperienced crew needed twenty-five seconds to launch a missile, the first combat use of the new Theseus III. It missed. The Chimera was designed for attacking survey ships, not warships, and the launcher had a reload time of four minutes. It was far too long. After catching and destroying the Chimera, the Cylons reversed course and blew away the Skywatch platform, ending all sensor contact. The Zeus class Battlestars Ares and Hephaestus were dispatched from Earth and arrived a week later, but there was no further contact with the Cylon force.

Two weeks later, an assault force of five Battlestars, two Zeus and three Galacticas, was assembled at the Stave – Agamemnon jump point. During the previous four weeks, the Battlestar Athena had been stationed at the jump point awaiting the arrival of the other Battlestars, during which time she had picked off all four Thunderfoots as they transited individually over several days. The operation would follow the same tactical approach as the assault from Tau Ceti into Stave, with the fighters transiting en masse.

Agamemnon Assault Force
Zeus class Battlestar: Artemis, Athena
Galactica II class Battlestar: Apollo, Atlantia, Pacifica
2x Raptor-MC class Assault Transport
8x Raptor-MB class Assault Transport
3x Raptor-SE class Scout
10x Cobra MK II class Fighter
200x Viper MK II class Fighter
70x Viper MK II-B class Fighter
60x Viper MK III-B class Fighter

Sixty of the fighters were the only examples of the Viper MK III-B, which represented a step between the MK III and MK IV. They had magneto-plasma engines but retained the tracking capabilities of the MK III, creating a disparity between their maximum speed of 19,224 km/s and their tracking speed of 12,000 km/s. In fact, the MK III-B was the fastest Viper built to date as even the later MK IV only had a maximum speed of 17,500 km/s.

Viper MK III-B class Fighter      300 tons       3 Crew       97 BP       TCS 6    TH 115    EM 0
19224 km/s      Armour 1-3       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 1.65
Maint Life 2.01 Years     MSP 30    AFR 60%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 10    5YR 148    Max Repair 57.6 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.9 days    Morale Check Required   

Zeus Drive Systems MPD-115-DB (1)    Power 115.2    Fuel Use 1909.19%    Signature 115.2    Explosion 30%
Fuel Capacity 13,000 Litres    Range 0.41 billion km (5 hours at full power)

Ares Kinetics VC-2 Viper Cannon (1x2)    Range 40,000km     TS: 19,224 km/s     Power 1-1.5     ROF 5       
Hyperion HV-3 Viper Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 12,000 km/s     
R-1B Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 1.5    Exp 15%
Artemis-2V Viper Active Sensor (1)     GPS 2     Range 2.4m km    MCR 213k km    Resolution 1

All ten Cobras and eight of the Viper MK IIs were destroyed on transit. The rest sped away from the jump point, already outside the range of the 10cm railguns on the Stave escorts. The 20cm railguns on the Predatoricons would require fifteen seconds to recharge. Most importantly, the twelve 24,000-ton Firedrake class ships did not fire, which suggested they were commercial vessels rather than new warships. As a result, the only confirmed warships on the far side were four Predatoricon cruisers, four Serpenticon escort cruisers and six Reptilicon escorts. Instead of chasing the fighters, or transiting into the their home system, the Commonality fleet broke into small groups as different formations ran away from the fighters at their best speed.



The fighters halted 370,000 km from the jump point and monitored the uncoordinated flight of the Stave fleet. Once the Commonality warships were outside railgun range of the jump point, the five Battlestars transited into Agamemnon. The Viper MK III-Bs were sent on a circular course to pursue the two Justicars, which were retreating at over 7000 km/s, while staying out of railgun range of the Predatoricons. The Viper MK IIs landed on their motherships.

With so many commercial ships in the Stave fleet and only ten assault transports available the fleet commander, Commander Athos Centaurus of the Artemis, decided to simply destroy the warships and focus on capturing the commercial shipping. There was potentially limited time until major Stave reinforcements arrived, including the ten missing Skyfires. The two Zeus Battlestars each mounted twenty 25cm railguns with a 250,000 km range, while the three Galacticas had similar weapons to the Stave Predatoricon light cruisers – 20cm railguns with a 160,000 km range. Therefore, the fleet stayed at a range where only the Zeus could engage, while the Galacticas stood by in case the enemy warships turned and charged. Once the four Predatoricons were eliminated, the Galacticas could move closer and engage the shorter-ranged escorts.

The Viper MK III-Bs quickly caught and destroyed the two Justicars, which did not return fire, suggesting they were some form of scout design, while the marine raiders landed on four of the slow-moving Thunderbeasts. The Battlestars opened fire on the Predatoricons, destroying two of them. A third Predatoricon and one of the escorts made a run at the Battlestars, but only inflicted shield damage before being blown to pieces. Shortly thereafter, the marines captured one of the Thunderbeasts, which turned out to be a fuel harvester.

Thunderbeast class Fuel Harvester      61,034 tons       288 Crew       1,030.1 BP       TCS 1,221    TH 600    EM 0
491 km/s      Armour 1-138       Shields 0-0       HTK 139      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 10    Max Repair 40 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Fuel Harvester: 21 modules producing 1,176,000 litres per annum

Kyi P200.00 Civilian Drive (3)    Power 600    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 650,000 Litres    Range 63.1 billion km (1486 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 10 hours

The remaining Stave warships were hunted down one by one and destroyed without any further Colonial losses, despite several counter-attack attempts. The four troop transports were also destroyed, because the fleet did not have enough marines to risk a boarding action that might encounter substantial Commonality ground forces. The Viper MK III-Bs attacked the Firedrakes to slow them down. They were moving at 2089 km/s, which was too fast for safe boarding operations. Two Firedrakes were accidentally destroyed, but the other ten were slowed by varying degrees and boarding operations began. They turned out to be colony ships. Finally, the four Dragonfire class stabilisation ships were all damaged, boarded and captured.

Firedrake class Colony Ship      23,933 tons       150 Crew       874 BP       TCS 479    TH 1,000    EM 0
2089 km/s      Armour 1-73       Shields 0-0       HTK 45      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 22    Max Repair 100 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 50,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 2   
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Kyi P200.00 Civilian Drive (5)    Power 1000    Fuel Use 3.04%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 37.2 billion km (205 days at full power)

Colonial losses were just eighteen fighters, ten of them Cobras. Fourteen warships and a dozen other vessels of the Stave Commonality were destroyed in the battle, with a further twenty-six captured by the Colonial Fleet. While the remaining ten Skyfire class battlecruisers had yet to be located, the Commonality had taken another significant blow.

Colonial Losses
10x Cobra
8x Viper MK II

Destroyed
4x Thunderchild class troop transport
2x Firedrake Colony Ship
4x Predatoricon class cruiser
4x Serpenticon class escort cruiser
6x Reptilicon class escort
4x Thunderfoot
2x Justicar.

Captured
12x Thunderbeast Fuel Harvester
4x Dragonfire stabilisation ship
10x Firedrake Colony Ship

On July 8th 2316, one month after the discovery of the mysterious rift in the Hydra system, a similar rift was discovered in Sphinx, four transits from the Sparta colony via Orpheus, Rho Leporis and Delphi. Also adjacent to the Delphi system was Hades, a binary system with thirteen planets, three of which had nitrogen – oxygen atmospheres. A scout Raptor conducting a sweep of the system detected emissions of the system from a Cerberus destroyer and an orbital weapons platform in orbit of the fourth planet of the G3-V primary.

A month later, a probe of a newly discovered jump point in the Commonality home system revealed Macaria, an unremarkable system except for the presence of seventeen ships from the Kogari Dominion. The Kogari deemed the Twelve Colonies as a friendly power and as a result had provided the Dominion’s transponder codes. Those codes allowed the Raptor from the Battlestar Vanir to detect the Kogari transponder signals. All seventeen Kogari ships were previously unknown types. Thirteen were Goblin class, with a speed of 926 km/s, the other four ships were designated as Ettin, Chimera, Beholder and Wyrm and had speeds between 1160 km/s and 1758 km/s.

All but one Goblin, which was out on the far edge of the system, were in a line approximately four billion kilometres long that stretched outward from a point a few hundred kilometres from the inner system. The traffic appeared to be moving between two as-yet-undetected jump points, but was not visiting the planets of Macaria. The Raptor-Rs of the Battlestar Vanir were all on the ship, being worked on after long deployments, so a single Raptor-R was dispatched from Earth to investigate the new system. The known Kogari systems were on the far side of known space, beyond Pandora, so it was vital to map the connecting systems and understand the state of relations between the Commonality and the Dominion.